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Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke and the world listened. And the world listen. Program 13 of the series dramatizing. The men and the age that created. These programs are produced by a radio station at the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the educational television and radio show in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters consultant for the series is Frederick W. Habermann chairman of the department of speech at the University of Wisconsin.
Here is Professor Habermann Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the spokesman for the people of the United States into crises of the 20th century the depression of the 30s and the War of the 40s. It is a coincidence that Hitler and Roosevelt should have taken office in the same year 1933. But it is characteristic of the two men that Hitler should have smashed a struggling experiment in republican government and that Roosevelt should have brought renewed vigor to democracy. Even though a patrician by birth and training Roosevelt understood the ordinary American citizen a member of his cabinet once wrote this sentence to be used by FDR in a speech. We are seeking to build an inclusive society. FDR edited the sentence so that it read. We are seeking to build a society in which no one is left out. This revised sentence reveals Roosevelt's conception of government his understanding of people and his genius in saying something simply and directly. He could speak
effectively in any setting. He is without peer as a campaigner on the parade route he would smile waves his cigarette holder at a jaunty angle and cock his campaign hat on the platform his handsome face and powerful torso compensated for his polio wasted legs. Nor have we yet heard his peer as a radio speaker in his fireside addresses a political innovation. His voice was remarkably clear. There was a ring and a lift in it. He was skilful at PA's inflection and pace. It mattered not at all that his voice sometimes rose surprisingly high in pitch or that his S's became mushy particularly if you forgot to insert his lower front page too. In the setting of Congress itself he has never been equalled by any president. His war messages especially have earned a place in our American heritage. These messages are not dead documents only they exist in recordings and Roosevelt's
reliably voice. How fortunate we would be if we had recordings of DeMoss than a Cicero Caesar St. Augustine Lincoln. There are many people alive today who don't need recordings of FDR. They can remember hearing his voice or remember seeing the toss of his head as he punctuated his remarks from the rear platform of a train or from the bridge of a ship or from the well of the House of Representatives. You know it's funny you should ask about that only a couple of days ago some of the new guys on the paper were asking me about a story that impressed me most of all the ones I've covered. I'll admit it kind of shocked me when they brought it up. Sounded like they half expected me to San Juan Hill. Well I mean you know give a guy 15 years in this century and he's a real gray beard he remembers
so much but that is my job to remember the young guys knew I was doing press association stuff even before World War 2. So I guess they figured I'd seen it all and they were not far off I've seen a lot of things when I was doing sports I watched Gehrig's last walk out of the stadium. I guess that day to me I saw Joe Lewis got that Nazi Superman Schmeling down to size to understand I really was young then but I covered it. And then of course I did the whole European bid for the Stars and Stripes still got back in this country in time to see that first big firecracker go off in New Mexico. So I guess you could say I've been around. Well anyway like I was saying they asked me which which one of the stories was the most impressive. And you should have heard their teeth clattering around on the floor when I told them it was a speech and a speech by FDR at that. I guess you know this paper slightly prefers the Republican view of things. Personally I voted for him two out of four times. I suppose that's about par for the course and it's nobody's business which two times it was.
So let me tell you about this maybe you'll understand. Let's see now the Selective Service Act was passed in September of 1940. So it was October October 29. And I was working city desk in New York making up a pool you want and why don't you cross read your own newspaper the series was over three weeks ago. Trouble is when he's working the city desk there's no news except in the Senate with a draft him we think if anybody in the paper hits it lucky you ought at least have enough for one last blast of freedom go away where you're going to be into him. I'm in and I've got three kids and I'm just kickin in for the poor sucker gets it. Look I never bet because I found by experience I never win. You know I could bet Marlene Dietrich was a girl and she brought me up some of my very much time the first number to be coming over the wire. All right all right here's a half a good boy. Let me get this down. Write your draft number one fifty eight.
First bet I ever won in my life pool came to 12 dollars and fifty cents which I spent on a farewell party for myself at an upper class gym joint that shall be nameless. As I recall I only had to cough up an extra 10 bucks to buy a round of drinks. My own paper had my picture on page one and the Times ran a group shot on page 14 of all the three sixties leaving for camp. I always hated group pictures at O'Hare. Yes I understand you're a writer. That's right. Can you type. Good God then you're just the type I need for a katydid am I. Arrive at O'Hare. Yes sergeant did I hear right you worked on a newspaper. Yes. Then you take this stack of newspapers and spread them out on the floor and clean those trash cans tell a shine say that you'll be working
on a newspaper again ah. Private O'Hare I've put your rifle back together except for this one part. All you have to deliver but this part where it belongs to me sergeant. Somehow the army got the idea that I was not a model foot soldier. So just about Christmas time in a rare display of putting a square peg in a square hole they sent me to Washington D.C. on the chance that a private who could write a sentence of acceptable English might be of some use to somebody there. So that's how I happened to turn up in Washington at the time of the speech. Now before I get into this it'll probably help to fill you in about what was happening in the world writing. Oh you may
remember without my help but if you like some of those young guys in the office you were only eight years old. What can you expect of an eight year old after all. Well if you listen to the radio on New Year's Day 1941 you were mighty unhappy unless you were mad for Stephen Foster. That was the day ask gap pulled all its music off the air and we were treated to the Camptown Races waltz The Camptown Races swing in between has a football games a camp down races March for a change of pace you could choose between Jeanie with the light brown hair and leave each available in a variety of colors and sizes as Gap and BMI were really at each other's throats. I guess some things never change. The people in England had other discomforts to worry about though. In August in 1940 the lift had started pounding across the channel and two days before the New Year England was hit by its first incendiary attack. You had to think the English were a little crazy. We knew it was just a matter of time before the Nazis would try to jump the channel. Some of the
brass in Washington said they couldn't last $100 after an invasion but there sat the English refusing to get rumpled incredibly optimistic about it all on New Year's Day. They read that Hitler had promised his people a complete victory in 1941. His betting luck was almost as bad as mine. I hadn't been in Washington a week when a buddy of mine off the Scripps-Howard chain stopped in to see me you know why to bolster my morale to talk over old times to make me clean. That's why 40 and 50 when I takes care of the combo not the Rose Bowl. Hear Hear what did you take to hold water. Choke on it and I have to mourn for the Rose Bowl. Thanks to Mr Pete command of Excalibur the football 60 bucks left that's gotta run me a month then there was a little wager on the downbeat poll I believe. No 15 in the swing band or a how could anyone vote for Goodman over Ellington hall and 15 in the suite all Glenn Miller my kneecap. There Tim you got 30 bucks left it's a good thing your needs are simple. Go Go take your boat to England where you are right I'll be seeing in a month or so a month.
You think that mess is going to be cleaned up in a month I'm just going to do some pieces on London in the Blitz. You're not going to cover the war is not my. I'd be a lousy war chorus. Sure I'll bet you that last 30. I'm back in the States in a month Bernie. I wouldn't bet you there's water in the ocean. So I didn't bet. And in case you haven't already guessed the guy's name was there any pile I knew just how Adolf felt with these predictions. OK now what else well Peter Arnell was named best dressed man looking like something out of his New Yorker cartoons. Those who cared were thrilled just a little by something Henri Bergson Did you know he was that philosopher who won the Nobel Prize. It seemed the Vishy government gave him some sort of exemption but he got up from his deathbed and he went down and he registered as a Jew that took something inside all right over here an old circus man named Jody Fisk died in his will specified his
funeral be a gay affair with dancing and drinks for the gang I guess they had a real ball on Broadway a musical called Pal Joey opened the New Year's season and Mr. Atkinson of the times disagreed with everybody because he felt the title character was such a lousy shouldn't be allowed on stage. Ginger Rogers she shocked her dancing shoes surprised everybody by some first rate acting Kitty Foyle. Eddie Cantor he came up with the Tennessee kid named Dinah Shore on his radio show this pleased an awful lot of people. Meanwhile back at the Capitol. Well I think you understand it's easy to kid about all this now but those who remember they'll tell you Washington was in a very funny place the first week in 1041. You see the Gallup poll showed about 90 percent of the people thought we should do something to help the British but probably no two agreed on what we should do. It's one thing to say Sure let's help them. It's another thing to say here I've got three sons they all fight. Yeah that's quite another thing. And then let's face it those Germans look mighty big about that
time a lot of people who thought we should help but still didn't like the idea of getting too firmly in Adolph's way. And then of course there were some who just didn't like the British the way some people don't like anchovies or olives not many of these I should point out. But some. Well that sort of filled you in on what was happening when I got to Washington just after Christmas in 1040. I had it better than basic that's for sure but it still pretty much of a drag seems nobody knew what to do with a literate buck private. Well semi-literate anyway. So after I checked in I was pretty much on my own I did the tourist bit. I've been in Washington plenty of times but always been on a story before and after that I had very little do was sit on my question and wonder when somebody remember I was there. There was another guy in a same spot that's funny can't remember his name now. What was it. Well anyway he was an artist a cartoonist or something. He didn't know where second base was either.
He's a funny little guy. Yeah. What you going to do today. Well I figure I'll find a rich blond go up to a penthouse like every other day. Really. Jim you got something against blondes. I'm serious. You want to go to the Library of Congress again. Well I was just forget it as I always say when you've seen one copy of the Gettysburg Address you've seen them all me. Come on I'm trying to ask you some well how do I know what I'm going to do. What's there to do in Washington in the daytime for Pete's sake I'll probably stay right here on my sack and read Alice in Wonderland again. I was just thinking. Maybe you could get us in to see the president talk. Did you say what you wanted. Yeah I called up Franklin having dropped by for some poker and I'm serious what do you mean you're serious of all the good. Listen when he's speaking to Congress today you know the state of the Union address he said today this morning as well. Well you know a newspaperman couldn't somehow pull something together soon. Well why. For crying out loud to hear this speech what do you mean what it is
it's called outside once you turn over go into a coma. Well have you ever seen the president of course I've seen him I covered the conventions last summer. I have and I've never even seen him. He looks just like his pictures. Well aren't you even interested in what he's got to say it will be in the papers tomorrow. Yeah but that's not what is I've been going to that sort of blow out all the time the last few years as part of my job. Now I don't have to do it anymore. Why don't you just let me enjoy myself. OK forget it. I want to go to a movie. Maybe later. Look if you really want to hear that speech. I really do Tim. Right. I'll see what I can do.
I called up Dan collab a don at the paper's DC office. First he said he couldn't help me and I steered the conversation around to some old times we had together in Miami. Dan being a married man suddenly remembered a couple of press passes in his bottom drawer. He called it blackmail I called it reminiscing and in that case we got the tickets. There was a real thrill for artist when we went in the capital he felt like a wheel walking right by the crowd outside and being let in. You know I haven't thought about that for years but there was a big mob of people outside the building. They couldn't see anything or even hear the speech but there they were just standing out there. I've got to admit when we went in the House chamber I was sort of glad I came they had all those steel girders holding the roof up while they repaired the place. But even in spite of that it looked good. It's hard to go in that room without seeing a few ghosts and hearing some voices out of the past. I mean well you talk about history this place really has it you know. And when all these
senators and representatives jump to their feet and they as the president came down the aisle. Well it's. Well I looked at Artest and he had tears in his eyes. And when the president was on the rostrum we all sat down and then. And then we heard this speech. Because. Members of the separatists happen. I'll press you the members of this new Congress at a moment unprecedented in the history of the young. President if the course of no previous time as American security then are seriously threatened from when I was the way he started he explained why he felt this was such a crucial moment
explained it in detail right through the history of the country. Then he reviewed the events of the war and showed how neutrality didn't help Norway one bit. He went over what we'd already done and then he came up with something new and there were circumstances constantly begetting knew. Many say the best Congress for great a new approach and carry on what we have. But I also asked this Congress for up front. Sufficient to manufacture a wall supply many of the big Masons. In fact we're
made. Almost useful and the media is still as on off with faults as well as for so. They need a man. But they don't leave the billions of dollars worth of the weapons off the front. The end is near when they will be able to pay for them all in ready that week. And we will mock so much that they must surrender. Trust in the inability to pay for the weapon which we know they must.
I do not recommend that we make the mold of dollars with which the faith of these weapons a little to be repaid in dollars. I recommend that we make it possible for those nations will continue to pay for materials in the United States. Fitting that into the whole program and all the material world. If the aid be useful in defense. What we send We will be paid reasonable following but hostility it replated and good.
We've got you and we need the Marquess way. America the freedom we for our resources and our organizing that give you the weak game a free world. We play that way. That was it. Lend-Lease they called it in the president went on to assure the world that the threats from Hitler would not stop it. I like that part you know it was sort of like walking up to some slob of a bully and telling
him to drop dead. But you can already sense that Mr. Roosevelt had something else important he was going to say like he had explained what we should do now. He wanted to tell us just why in the few days that we could make it we look forward the way we found it. A farm for essential freedom. Is freedom and the right of every player in the world. The second is freedom everywhere but we're both in it. Oh no way. In every way in the world.
Freedom from want which translated into economic understanding which will secure every day a healthy peacetime life for its in every way in the world for freedom from fear which translated into means were struck from Obama to such a point such that no nation will be in a position to comment on physical acts. Russian gains in the world.
That is you know they can about the millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of act paintable in our own time and generate that kind of world is the barrier and purposes of the so-called new or their own idea which that they seek to create with the crack of a bomb dewlap Nuada. We'll look great up and the moral order a good society. He was able to face he will dominate and foreign revolutions are like without fear. Since the beginning of our American history we have been
engaged in a perpetual peaceful revolution a revolution which goes on that only why a place that just think it sounds the cream kingdom without the concentration camp all the climate in the thick of the world ought I would we say that the cooperation Mobb three countries working together in a friendly civilized society. This may be a place it's best for me and then I'm part of it. Millions of men and women. And it's in freedom under the guidance of God.
Freedom means the primacy of human right every way. Oh. Applause. Go go go go. Prado book game. Oh right and keep it up Frank. You want to wrap up the bat concept. There can be no band so big. You are. Love him or hate him. That's your business and I have my own opinion. But I'd be willing to bet the Four Freedoms speech is going to be around a long time after
we're gone. The shame I will be gone. Because I have a feeling it's one bet I'd win. Here again is Professor Habermann. Tim would have won the Four Freedoms speech was broadcast throughout the free world. It has been translated into all the major languages. It has been the inspiration for countless speeches sermons articles stories paintings and posters. FDR himself referred to the four freedoms again and another message to Congress in 1984 when he said we have accepted a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station race or creed. Roosevelt began as the spokesman for America in
1933 in April 1945 when he left Washington D.C. for the last time. He was the spokesman for mankind. And the world listen. Program 13 in a radio series. The man that created. These programs are produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the educational television and radio. Frederick W. Habermann gemman of the department is speaking at the University of Wisconsin is the consultant. These programs are distributed by the National Association of educational
And the world listened
Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Four freedoms
Producing Organization
University of Wisconsin
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Four Freedoms.
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This series presents dramatizations of famous speeches.
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Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Speaker: Haberman, Frederick W. (Frederick William), 1908-1995
Writer: Stanley, J. Helen
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 59-5-13 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:30
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Chicago: “And the world listened; Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Four freedoms,” 1959-03-29, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 17, 2021,
MLA: “And the world listened; Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Four freedoms.” 1959-03-29. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 17, 2021. <>.
APA: And the world listened; Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Four freedoms. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from