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The New Deal, 75 Years Later

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover in convertible automobile on way to U.S. Capitol for Roosevelt's inauguration, March 4, 1933

Some of the most stirring and enduring words ever spoken by an American president were uttered by Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” and “a date which will live in infamy,” among them.

But few of his words more dramatically reshaped the country than when, in 1932, Roosevelt pledged to pursue a “new deal” for the American people. Almost exactly 75 years ago, following his inauguration on March 4, 1933, he launched the series of reforms and relief measures that would comprise the New Deal, along with several new agencies with acronyms that reminded some of “alphabet soup.”

Three-quarters of a century later, on March 13 and 14, 2008, the Library’s American Folklife Center, in collaboration with several other divisions, will host a symposium titled “Art, Culture, and Government: The New Deal at 75.” (Online registration is available here.)

The event will combine scholarship along with views into the Library’s collections, which continue to yield new insights into this seminal period in American history.

The symposium is supported by the National Archives and the National New Deal Preservation Association.

(Image of Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt from the Library’s Prints and Photographs Online Catalog)

Comments (2)

  1. Watch for some FDR references in the next few weeks from Hillary and Obama. I’m guessing that the New Deal theme might appear in some speeches.

  2. FDR is the rare case of the right man materializing at the right moment in history. His strength of character completely overshadowed his descretely concealed physical weaknesses.

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