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Posts Tagged ‘FDR’

My Fellow Americans, it is nearly five months since we were attacked at Pearl Harbor. For the two years prior to that attack this country had been gearing itself up to a high level of production of munitions. And yet our war efforts had done little to dislocate the normal lives of most of us.

Since then we have dispatched strong forces of our Army and Navy, several hundred thousands of them, to bases and battlefronts thousands of miles from home. We have stepped up our war production on a scale that is testing our industrial power, our engineering genius, and our economic structure to the utmost. We have had no illusions about the fact that this is a tough job-and a long one.

American warships are now in combat in the North and South Atlantic, in the Arctic, in the Mediterranean, in the Indian Ocean, and in the North and South Pacific. American troops have taken stations in South America, Greenland, Iceland, the British Isles, the Near East, the Middle East and the Far East, the continent of Australia, and many islands of the Pacific. American war planes, manned by Americans, are flying in actual combat over all the continents and all the oceans.
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My Fellow Americans:

Once upon a time, a few years ago, there was a city in our Middle West which was threatened by a destructive flood in the great river. The waters had risen to the top of the banks. Every man, woman and child in that city was called upon to fill sand bags in order to defend their homes against the rising waters. For many days and nights, destruction and death stared them in the face.

As a result of the grim, determined community effort, that city still stands. Those people kept the levees above the peak of the flood. All of them joined together in the desperate job that (which) had to be done — business men, workers, farmers, and doctors, and preachers — people of all races.

To me, that town is a living symbol of what community cooperation can accomplish.

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Radio Address to the French People on the North African Invasion

November 7, 1942

My friends, who suffer day and night, under the crushing yoke of the Nazis, I speak to you as one who was with your Army and Navy in France in 1918. I have held all my life the deepest friendship for the French people- for the entire French people. I retain and cherish the friendship of hundreds of French people in France and outside of France. I know your farms, your villages, and your cities. I know your soldiers, professors, and workmen. I know what a precious heritage of the French people are your homes, your culture, and the principles of democracy in France. I salute again and reiterate my faith in Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. No two Nations exist which are more united by historic and mutually friendly ties than the people of France and the United States.

Americans, with the assistance of the United Nations, are striving for their own safe future as well as the restoration of the ideals, the liberties, and the democracy of all those who have lived under the Tricolor.

We come among you to repulse the cruel invaders who would remove forever your rights of self-government, your rights to religious freedom, and your rights to live your own lives in peace and security.

We come among you solely to defeat and rout your enemies. Have faith in our words. We do not want to cause you any harm.

We assure you that once the menace of Germany and Italy is removed from you, we shall quit your territory at once.

I am appealing to your realism, to your self-interest and national ideals.
Do not obstruct, I beg of you, this great purpose.

Help us where you are able, my friends, and we shall see again the glorious day when liberty and peace shall reign again on earth.
Vive la France eternelle!

See also: Franklin Roosevelt Speeches

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I want to talk to you about rubber — about rubber and the war — about rubber and the American people.

When I say rubber I mean rubber. I don’t mean gasoline.

Gasoline is a serious problem only in certain sections of the country.

But rubber is a problem everywhere—from one end of the country to the other—in the Mississippi Valley as well as in the East — in the oil country as well as in the corn country or the iron country or the great industrial centers.

Rubber is a problem for this reason- because modern wars cannot be won without rubber and because 92 percent of our normal supply of rubber has been cut off by the Japanese.

That is serious. It would be more serious if we had not built up a stock pile of rubber before the war started: if we were not now building up a great new synthetic rubber industry. That takes time, so we have an immediate need.

Neither the stock pile, nor the synthetic plants which are now being built, nor both together, will be enough to provide for the needs of our great new Army and Navy plus our civilian requirements as they now exist.

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