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"I want to explain to the people something about geography—what our problem is and what the overall strategy of the war has to be. If they understand the problem and what we are driving at, I am sure that they can take any kind of bad news right on the chin." Sales of new maps and atlases were unprecedented, while many people retrieved old commercial maps from storage and pinned them up on their walls.Novelist Saul Bellow recalled hearing a fireside chat while walking in Chicago one summer evening.Historian Betty Houchin Winfield says, "He and his advisers worried that newspapers' biases would affect the news columns and rightly so." As president, Roosevelt began making the informal addresses on March 12, 1933, eight days after his inauguration.He had spent his first week coping with a month-long epidemic of bank closings that was hurting families nationwide.
The series of Roosevelt's 30 fireside chats was included with the first 50 recordings made part of the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.Presidential advisor and speechwriter Samuel Rosenman recalled his use of common analogies and his care in avoiding dramatic oratory: "He looked for words that he would use in an informal conversation with one or two of his friends." The radio historian John Dunning wrote that "It was the first time in history that a large segment of the population could listen directly to a chief executive, and the chats are often credited with helping keep Roosevelt's popularity high." Each radio address went through about a dozen drafts.Careful attention was also given to Roosevelt's delivery.Everywhere the same voice, its odd Eastern accent, which in anyone else would have irritated Midwesterners.
You could follow without missing a single word as you strolled by. president since Roosevelt has delivered periodic addresses to the American people, first on radio, and later adding television and the Internet.
When he realized that a slight whistle was audible on the air due to a separation between his two front lower teeth, FDR had a removable bridge made.