The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.
Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE (www.oxfordreference.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 02 December 2023

Franklin D. Roosevelt 1882–1945
American Democratic statesman, 32nd President 1933–45 

  1. The forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
    radio address, 7 April 1932
  2. I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.
    speech to the Democratic Convention in Chicago, 2 July 1932, accepting the presidential nomination
  3. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
    inaugural address, 4 March 1933; see Montaigne
  4. In the field of world policy I would dedicate this Nation to the policy of the good neighbour.
    inaugural address, 4 March 1933
  5. We face the arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of national unity.
    inaugural address, 4 March 1933; see Bush
  6. Forests are the ‘lungs’ of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.
    statement on receipt of the award of the Schlich Forestry Medal, 29 January 1935; see also Roosevelt, which is often wrongly attached to this
  7. I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen 200 limping, exhausted men come out of line—the survivors of a regiment of 1,000 that went forward 48 hours before. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.
    speech at Chautauqua, NY, 14 August 1936
  8. I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.
    second inaugural address, 20 January 1937
  9. We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics.
    second inaugural address, 20 January 1937
  10. A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.
    letter to all State Governors on a Uniform Soil Conservation Law, 26 February 1937; see also Roosevelt, which is often wrongly attached to this
  11. Remember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
    at the Daughters of the American Revolution Convention, Washington, D.C., 21 April 1938
  12. He may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch.
    on President Somoza of Nicaragua, 1938
  13. I am reminded of four definitions: A Radical is a man with both feet firmly planted—in the air. A Conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward. A Reactionary is a somnambulist walking backwards. A Liberal is a man who uses his legs and his hands at the behest—at the command—of his head.
    radio address, 26 October 1939
  14. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.
    speech in Boston, 30 October 1940, in Public Papers (1941) vol. 9; see Johnson
  15. We have the men—the skill—the wealth—and above all, the will…We must be the great arsenal of democracy.
    ‘Fireside Chat’ radio broadcast, 29 December 1940
  16. We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want…everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear…anywhere in the world.
    message to Congress, 6 January 1941
  17. Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
    address to Congress, 8 December 1941
  18. Books can not be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory…In this war, we know, books are weapons. And it is a part of your dedication always to make them weapons for man's freedom.
    ‘Message to the Booksellers of America’ 6 May 1942, in Publisher's Weekly 9 May 1942
  19. Oh Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade.
    address to the nation, D-Day, 6 June 1944
  20. The work, my friend, is peace. More than an end of this war—an end to the beginnings of all wars.
    undelivered address for Jefferson Day, 13 April 1945 (the day after Roosevelt died) in Public Papers (1950) vol. 13