The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Datebook: January 30 – FDR Turns 130

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882 (and died April 12, 1945). He was a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war. FDR’s persistent optimism and activism contributed to a renewal of the national spirit, reflecting his victory over paralytic illness to become the longest serving president in U.S. history. He worked closely with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in leading the Allies against Germany and Japan in World War II, but died just as victory was in sight. Roosevelt instituted the New Deal — a variety of programs designed to produce government jobs, economic growth, and bank and transportation reform. The economy improved rapidly from 1933 to 1937, but then relapsed into a deep recession. The bipartisan Conservative Coalition that formed in 1937 prevented and abolished much of the legislation. Major surviving programs include the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Social Security. During World War II, FDR gave strong diplomatic and financial support to China and Britain, while remaining officially neutral. He provided Lend-Lease aid to countries fighting against Nazi Germany. He called the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor “a date which will live in infamy.” He ordered the Army to inter 100,000 Japanese American civilians. FDR’s New Deal Coalition united labor unions, big city machines, white ethnics, African Americans and rural white Southerners. Roosevelt’s diplomatic impact led to the United Nations and Bretton Woods. Roosevelt is consistently rated by scholars as one of the top three U.S. Presidents.

It’s Monday, January 30

The McCracken County Cooperative Extension Service hosts a free Slow Cooker Cooking Class tomorrow from 11 to noon. Class members will review slow cooking basics, enjoy taste testing, and leave with new ideas and recipes. Call 554-9520 for more information.

The American Red Cross holds a blood drive at the Murray State University Curris Center tomorrow and Wednesday from 9AM to 3PM. Whole blood and double red cell donations will be accepted. Donors must be healthy, at least seventeen years old, and at least 110 pounds. Schedule an appointment and find out more at redcrossblood.org.

High school juniors may now submit applications for Murray State University’s Commonwealth Honors Academy. The three-week summer enrichment experience lets students earn six hours of college credit at no cost. The program runs June 9th to June 30th. The application deadline is March 1st. Applications are online at murraystate.edu/cha.

Find more community events at wkms.org.

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