What Are Some Franklin D. Roosevelt Quotes?


Quick Answer

One of the most famous quotes of Franklin Roosevelt is from his first inaugural address on March 4, 1933: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." At that time, the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression, and fear abounded. President Roosevelt assured his fellow citizens the country would endure and again prosper provided it did not become paralyzed by fear.

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Full Answer

Another quote from the same speech is "Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort." Many Americans had lost all or nearly all the money they had, and huge numbers of people were unemployed with no means of making any money. The new president wanted the people to know that happiness did not depend solely on how much money they had. They could attain a feeling of accomplishment and even a measure of happiness in working their way through this situation.

In his second inaugural address on Jan. 20, 1937, President Roosevelt stated, "I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished...The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." The country had seen some recovery from its economic woes, but the president was not satisfied. People were still suffering. President Roosevelt would not declare progress until the poorest had enough.

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