85. Franklin D. Roosevelt: A President at War



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Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States after first being elected in 1932. He is the only president to serve more than two full terms. His presidency spanned from March 4, 1932 to April 12, 1945. When Roosevelt first took office, the country was in a deep, economic depression called the Great Depression. During his first 100 days in office, Roosevelt passed several economic stimulus bills that were designed to improve the American economy by putting people back to work. His economic strategy was called the New Deal, and the economy improved steadily for four years until 1937 when the U.S. fell into a recession.

Roosevelt presided over the country during one of the darkest periods in American history - World War II. In the years prior to American involvement in the war, Roosevelt was determined to keep the United States neutral in the great war. Roosevelt offered economic and diplomatic support for its allies such as Great Britain, and China, but all that changed on December 7, 1941. That was the day when the Imperial Japanese Army attacked the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack was devastating, and the U.S. had no choice but to join its allies in the war against Nazi Germany, Japan, and Italy. Roosevelt's address to the nation following the sneak attack is considered one of the greatest presidential addresses of all time.

Roosevelt served as president until his death in 1945. He had suffered from illnesses during his lifetime, and succumbed to a cerebral hemorrhage during a stay at a hospital. His legacy is firmly in place as the man who took a country with more than 13,000,000 unemployed. By the time he left office, less the 2 percent of the workforce was unemployed. He will always be known as the great leader that guided the country through its darkest hours in history.

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