FDR Fireside Chats and Speeches
(1933 – 1945)
Family / News
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945) was the 32nd President of the United States, serving in that office from 1933 to his death in 1945.
Called ‘The Great Communicator’, Roosevelt was the first President to have the opportunity to take advantage of the new medium of radio.
Serving the United States from the ending of the Great Depression through World War II, he was faced with a broad range of challenges and situations, and he used the medium of radio effectively to communicate with the American public and the world, and to promote his political agenda.
Besides his many speeches on topical issues he also conducted what came to be known as ‘fireside chats’, messages to the public from his home in Hyde Park, New York or the White House in Washington, D.C.
Although not all of his speeches were recorded, here is a selection of recordings of some of his speeches and fireside chats. You can hear why, by the use of radio, Roosevelt became more human and familiar to the public. As Carl Carmer said in April, 1945, “I never saw him—but I knew him. Can you have forgotten how, with his voice, he came into our house, the President of these United States, calling us friends ..."
50th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty - 10/28/1936 (6:02 minutes)
Second Inaugural Address - 3/4/1937 (3:25 minutes)
Herald Tribune Forum - There Can Be No Peace excerpt - 10/26/1938 (1:28 minutes)
Fireside Chat - The European War - 9/3/1939 (1:48 minutes)
Message to Congress - Repeal of Embargo Provisions of Neutrality Law - 9/21/1939 (35 minutes)
The Lend Lease Program - 3/15/1941 (5:13 minutes)
Fireside Chat - Announcing Unlimited National Emergency - 5/27/1941 (33:02 minutes)
Request to Congress for a Declaration of War - 12/8/1941 (4:47 minutes)
Fireside Chat - On the Declaration of War with Japan - 12/9/1941 (28:04 minutes)
Christmas Message - 12/24/1941 (4:24 minutes)
State of the Union - 1/6/1942(43:17 minutes)
On the North African Invasion - 11/7/1942 (1:56 minutes)
Fireside Chat - On the Coal Crisis - 5/2/1943 (23:06 minutes)
Fireside Chat - On Progress of War and Plans for Peace - 7/28/1943 (6:43 minutes)
Fireside Chat - On the Fall of Rome - 6/5/1944 (14:11 minutes)
Prayer on D-Day - CBS - 6/6/1944 (6:50 minutes)
Prayer on D-Day - NBC - 6/6/1944 (2:28 minutes)