#MuseumFromHome FDR's First Fireside Chat

Updated: Mar 19, 2020


In the Museum house we have a streamlined, art deco, wood radio in the living room. Above the radio we (usually) have a framed photo of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.* While giving tours we often talk about the importance of FDR's fireside chats as a way for him to reassure Americans struggling under the weight of the Great Depression. His first radio address took place on March 12, 1933, eight days after his inauguration. Sixty million Americans listened to this address. He spoke about the bank crisis in layman's terms and laid out what he planned to do to help the situation. Listen to his address here and if you're looking for additional materials to use with kids at home, check out this page from PBS and the Ken Burns documentary, The Roosevelts. Though Greenbelt wouldn't be built until several years later, FDR continued to give fireside chats until 1944, giving Greenbelters plenty of opportunities to listen.

* Our portrait of FDR was damaged by water when the historic house flooded several years ago. The portrait has been professionally restored but not re-framed. We hope to get it back up soon!


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