Thursday, March 22, 2012

Now Hear This: Franklin Delano Roosevelt Dies

Now Hear This is provided to Around the Common by Roderick Walsh

On 12 April 1945 U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage in the Summer White House at Warm Springs, Georgia. The only man to be elected to four terms as president of the United States, Roosevelt is remembered, by friends and enemies alike, for his New Deal social policies and leadership during World War II.

Roosevelt was elected to a third term in 1940 with the promise of maintaining American neutrality as far as foreign wars were concerned: "Let no man or woman thoughtlessly or falsely talk of American people sending its armies to European fields." But as Hitler's war spread, and the desperation of Britain grew, the president fought for passage in Congress of the Lend-Lease Act, in March 1941, which committed financial aid to Great Britain and other allies. In August, Roosevelt met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to proclaim the Atlantic Charter, which would become the basis of the United Nations; they also drafted a statement to the effect that the United States "would be compelled to take countermeasures" should Japan further encroach in the southwest Pacific.

Despite ongoing negotiations with Japan, that "further encroachment" took the form of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, "a day that would live in infamy." The next day Roosevelt requested, and received, a declaration of war against Japan. On 11 December, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.

Corporal Arthur Joyce, former Deputy Chief of the Bridgewater Fire Department now deceased, served in the United States Army, Military Police Corps, assigned to the Presidential Security Unit at Fort Myer, Virginia. He was abroad the funeral train that transported Roosevelt’s remains from Georgia to Hyde Park, New York for burial.

The world lost a great leader.

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