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The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Fear Itself: President Franklin Roosevelt (Full Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of President Franklin Roosevelt’s inauguration speech titled “The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Fear Itself” which was delivered on Saturday, March 4, 1933.

In this first inauguration speech of Franklin D. Roosevelt, he addresses the pressing economic crisis of the time, known as the Great Depression. Roosevelt calls for radical measures such as relief efforts, national planning, and bank regulation to address issues such as unemployment, small home and farm foreclosures, loss of capital, and market failure. Roosevelt emphasizes the urgent need for immediate and decisive action to set the country on a path towards recovery. He also stresses the importance of discipline, sacrifice, commitment to leadership for the greater good, and unity to achieve this goal.

Listen to the audio version here:

TRANSCRIPT:

Introducing Speaker: We begin with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first inauguration.

Chief Justice Charles Hughes: You, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, do solemnly swear that you will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and will, to the best of your ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help you God.

Franklin D. Roosevelt – 32nd U.S. President

I, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God.

President Hoover, Mr. Chief Justice, my friends, this is a day of national consecration, and I am certain that on this day my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impels.

This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive, and will prosper. So first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself: nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

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