Friday, June 27, 2014

The American Presidents: Franklin D. Roosevelt

The following is from a work-in-progress called "The American Presidents: a Coloring Book," which will be released at Hibbleton Gallery on the fourth of July, 2014, during the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882 – 1945), the 32nd President of the United States, is the only man to be elected to four terms in office.   In August 1921, he contracted polio, which resulted in permanent paralysis from the waist down.  When Roosevelt was inaugurated in 1933, the U.S. was at the depth of The Great Depression.  Unemployment was at 25 percent, and two million people were homeless.  His "New Deal"  was designed to produce relief, recovery, and reform.  The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), hired 250,000 unemployed young men to work on rural local projects.  The Works Progress Administration (WPA) set up a national relief agency that employed two million family heads.  The Social Security Act established Social Security and promised economic security for the elderly, the poor and the sick. The National Labor Relations Act established the federal rights of workers to organize unions, to engage in collective bargaining, and to take part in strikes.  The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 created the minimum wage.  After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, he supervised the mobilization of the U.S. economy to support the Allied war effort. In 1942, due to fears of terrorism, espionage, and/or sabotage, Roosevelt ordered the internment of 100,000 Japanese American civilians.  A biographer of FDR wrote in 2007, "He lifted himself from a wheelchair to lift the nation from its knees."

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