On this day in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) made his first of many informal "fireside chats" to Americans. He spoke on the radio at 10 p.m. (EST) from his study at the White House.
FDR explained confidently his policies and calmed fears about the Great Depression. By speaking to his audience as "my friends," the leader reached the average citizen with sincerity.
"Men are not prisoners of fate," he said, "but only prisoners of their own minds."
A desperate time for Americans, FDR offered his New Deal to stimulate the economy and bring hope and work to the unemployed. However, more chaos was at hand-- in Germany, Adolf Hitler, 44, had just been named the new chancellor.
With the spirit of unity, FDR ended his first chat with the words, "It is your problem no less than it is mine. Together we cannot fail."
More radio broadcasts would follow, 30 in all, through June 1944.
TV today may have replaced radio as the great communicator, but the method all started with Roosevelt. Sometimes all it takes is coming up with a new idea, trying it until it works, and letting history take over...
More FDR Quotations
Try something and if it fails, try something else.