Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a democrat who went to Harvard University; attended Columbia Law School. Roosevelt got elected as president four times:

  • March 4, 1933- January 20, 1937
  • January 20, 1937- January 20,  1941
  • January 20, 1941-January 20, 1945
  • January 20, 1945- April 12, 1945

He was born in New York where he also served as New York state senator and governor before he was president.

President Roosevelt served the country during the financial disaster of the Great Depression that was followed with World War II. He was very successful in leading the country during challenges that was facing the nation. Employment increased, and Social Security was established. Great Depression ended when the United States entered WWII in 1941. Roosevelt worked effectively with military and leaders of other countries to plan war strategies.

Roosevelt was the first president who had a physically challenged illness. He was suffering from polio since he was 39 and he took over the office at the age 51. Yet he had an extraordinary energy and enthusiasm to lead the nation during the difficult years.

Franklin Roosevelt’s American ancestors goes back to 1940s when Nicholas Roosevelt arrived from Holland, and had two sons Johannes and Jacobus. President Theodore Roosevelt connected to Johannes; and president Franklin Roosevelt came from family line connected with Jacobus.

Franklin Roosevelt was born into wealth, he went to private schools, learned French and German, enjoyed swimming and became an expert sailor. He traveled a lot with his parents to Europe, Canada and coast to coast of the United States.

During Roosevelt presidency, the first woman to hold a cabinet position in Congress became Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins.

Roosevelt had great relationship with medium and was broadcasting speeches over radio  cost to cost to educate public on problems and current programs. The New Deal program was established by Roosevelt, to assist individuals with help and financial support during hardships.

Roosevelt worked effectively to end the war in Europe. In his last year of presidency, he met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Casablanca, Morocco, and again in Cairo, Egypt met with Churchill and Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek. Roosevelt made further plans with Soviet leader Josef Stalin at Tehran, Iran, and agreed to an offensive against Nazi Germany.

Roosevelt was seriously ill during his last election in 1945, yet he won the election. Due to his unhealthy situation, he left Washington to go to his vacation home in Warm Springs, Georgia in April 1945, he died there of a cerebral hemorrhage.

In less than a month later, the war with Germany was over.

Eleanor Roosevelt is one of all time nation’s favorite first ladies of White House. I am sure many agree with me on that. She was very politically active among all first ladies. She worked hard during Roosevelt presidency and once she responded to a question that was directed to her husband illness by saying ” Anyone who has gone through great suffering is bound to have a greater sympathy and understanding of the problems of mankind.” She was very socially active, helping women, children and working class Americans. She continued her work in politics long after Franklin Roosevelt died. She believed and always said ” We cannot wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow is now.”

Roosevelt named three different Vice Presidents while served as a president from 1933-1945.

  • John Garner (1933-1941)
  • Henry Wallace (1941-1945)
  • Harry Truman (1945)

Harry Truman sworn to be president after Roosevelt died.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”       FDR.

 

 

 

Herbert Hoover

“I have no fear for the future of the country. It is bright with hope.”  Once said Herbert Hoover, 31st president of the United States. So far, so good. However, I wish I had a Time Machine and could travel to 1929 and ask him: “How about now?”

Herbert Clark Hoover, was born in Iowa and he was a Republican. He only president for one term.

He was a self-made multimillionaire as a mining engineer and his public service with several war relief agencies earned him a great respect well before he became president. He served in politics as a Secretary of Commerce for president Harding and president Coolidge during the 1920s and was elected president in 1928. Despite his success in commerce and business, he faced one of the most serious economic crisis in American history. The crash of stock market in October 1929 and the Great Depression that followed it, caught him in the first year of his presidency.

Hoover’s term was covered with challenges. Raise of Hitler’s fascist forces in Europe, high unemployment rate, public suffering from starvation and shut down of entire school systems due to lack of funds are only a few to mention.

Although he was not the most popular president because of Great Depression, he established some of the main foundation of effective business models for government that are still popular.

 

 

John Calvin Coolidge

Thirtieth president of the United States. John Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872. He was president from 1923 to 1929. Coolidge had a low-key image and believed that president job was to lower any possible cost of government. He was known as an honest politician, popular candidate who won almost every election he entered and he was indeed a family man. Unfortunately the death of his teenage son had left saddened years for him and his family while at the White House.

Coolidge was Vice- president and became president when Harding died almost halfway through his presidency on August 1923.

Foreign policy did not project many impressive achievements, except the main focus was on American financial interest. However, his secretary of state, Frank B. Kellogg won a Nobel Peace Price for the Kellogg-Brianed Pact, a famously known agreement to achieve international peace.

The decade of 1920s also referred as a “Golden Era”, because of the prosperity that many achieved and shared. But farming did not do so well during his presidency as industrial section did.

Coolidge refused to run a campaign and become president for another term in 1929, and era of prosperity soon started to fallen after he left Washington.

 

Warren G. Harding

Harding only served as a U.S. president for two years before he died. Illegal financial scandals and administration cheating on personal earning was discovered after he passed.

He rewarded his loyal friends with important government posts and they betrayed his trust. Also his own personal scandals created a little bit of issues. Although he was married to Florence Mabel Kling, but his involvement with two other ladies had left a remark on his reputation.

Apparently and according to historian standards, he was a tall, handsome and good looking president. Before his job in politics, Harding was a newspaper publisher in his early twenties. The newspaper called Marion Star. He worked for 12 years campaigning for Republican and his career in politics, he was elected to the Ohio State Senate in 1900. Harding spent two years as a state senator.

Two things that helped Harding get elected as a president was that he supported Prohibition of Alcohol and woman’s right to vote. He was against both, however he decided to promote these two which helped him become the president. He became president in the first election which women had a right to vote.

He promised his supporters “America First” in his election, and as he promised when he became the president, immigration was restricted, Tariffs on imported good were raise and he signed Budget and Accounting Act which stricter accounting practices in developing the annual federal budget which led to more savings.

Harding became the first president to visit Alaska, when the territory was not a state.  Alaska became a state in 1959. This was a visit as a part of a tour Harding took with the first lady and on his way back to Seattle, he suddenly became ill. His physician called it a food poisoning and refused to let any other doctor to examine him and convinced army surgeons that the president suffered a heart attack. Harding continued on the trip and died on August 2, 1923, in San Francisco.

 

 

 

Thomas Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson was the 28th president. He served two terms in the office and he was a democrat. He was very academic, was a lawyer, professor and Princeton University president.

Wilson was also local to Washington, D.C. He was born in Staunton, Virginia and studied his bachelor in Princeton, continued his education in University of Virginia Law School and received his Ph.D from Johns Hopkins University.

He was the governor of New Jersey as his government job before his presidency.

Wilson was truly a respectful writer and educator. His voice was successful to set up political agendas of the nation when there was a desire for it.

Wilson introduced the idea of tax based on income level and worked on some “unfair” trade practices such as illegal child labor, maximum 40 hours of weekly work for railroad workers and pushed through Congress for several other bills and legislations which let to creation of the Federal Trade Commission.

He was a highly effective president who achieved and accomplished so much so quickly. Moreover, his excellent relationship with the press had assisted him to publicize and explain his positions and goals to public. He had a very firm, educated and colorful language that could effectively communicate with almost everyone in public. Wilson was able to relay on majority of support from Democrats in Congress and he was excellent in his communication skills.

Wilson was faced with some personal challenges when Ellen Wilson, the First Lady’s health began to treating her well being. Simultaneously, Mexico raised some disputes and conflicts and, World War I broke out in Europe when Germany invaded France. The World War I, eventually involved 32 countries and lasted for more than a decade.

Although America was officially neutral at the beginning of the conflict, but the war and devision in Europe among more powerful countries forced U.S. to take sides to protect its own trades. Due to more powerful balance of trades, America favored Allied countries (Great Britain, France and Russia) over the Axis powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy and Turkey).

Wilson’s education and great writing skills helped him released a document to Congress that clearly described his idealistic mission which was presented as Fourteen Points. His diplomacy blueprint, established the League of Nations to lead and help nations to avoid going to war and pursue peace. This organization became part of United Nation (UN) and although the League of Nations failed later, but its ideologies remains effective in UN.  Wilson was awarded the Nobel Peace Price in recognition of his effort to settle world peace.

While he won international admiration aboard, his opponents at home won the majority vote at the election to Republican in Congress.

Wilson’s legacy is a lasting influence on the country. Some of his ideas and establishment which positively influenced the country are included, his New Freedom program, Federal Reserve System, the graduated income tax, and Federal Trade Commission.

Historians wrote that he was the first U.S. president to set America on its course of becoming a world power.

In his two terms he led the country perfectly well in course of the First World War. In his address to Congress which was delivered on April 1917, he wrote:

” The ability to declare and lead in war is subject to the same checks and balances as other powers of the federal government. A president cannot go to war without the permission of Congress”.

Republican political party took over in election after Wilson and Warren G. Harding became the next president for only two years from March 1921 to August 1923.

Read more on Warren G. Harding in my next post.

 

 

 

 

William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft only served as the U.S. President for one term. Before he became the president, he worked in judicial, diplomatic and cabinet positions.

Great economic growth continued in the first decade of the twentieth century when Taft was president, small business expanded, urban population continued to grow and social conditions improved.

Dispute between socialists and capitalism was one of the main challenges of Taft presidency and he seems to be unable to please either sides.

He was a law professor and named chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1921 which was about a decade after he was president.

Taft’s son, Robert Alphonso Taft, became a very influential Republican in Congress in the 1940s. His son was the creator of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Taft established the policy as “substituting dollars for bullet” which assist nations with military challenged issue assistant in return for business opportunities. This policy had wonderfully increased benefits to the nation export trades.

The 27th president of the U.S. was in favor of the foreign trade, Yale University graduate, Republican who served in several public service position. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

 

 

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th president when William McKinley was shot and killed in September 14, 1901.

Roosevelt was the Vice President at the time. He ended up running for two terms and he was one of the most popular of all the American presidents. He loved being active and to take actions, he was a great leader and his foreign policy made the United States more powerful than it has ever been before in Western world.

He had extraordinary energy, he was a fearless military leader, he was defending individual rights while growing business and industrial large companies, he wrote more than 30 books and he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

He was very educated and from early ages of his childhood, Theodore Roosevelt had developed his interests in variety of subjects. He also admired and enjoyed American history and literature. He enjoyed learning other languages, and as a teen he lived with his family in Germany, where he learned German language.

Roosevelt was a Harvard University graduate, in love with nature and outdoors and self-tought expert on birds, flowers and animals. He loved physical activities and sport and even though he suffered from asthma as a child, he developed a very healthy lifestyle as an adult and enjoyed playing sports.

He is known to be an influential, popular president.

“To announce that there should be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public”. -Theodore Roosevelt.