Reporting the century: The Great Depression

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, when the USA suffered the financial crisis, poverty, and hunger, President Franklin D. Roosevelt began a series of radio broadcasts in which he addressed the American people in a friendly, informal way. These fifteen- minute talks, broadcast in the evenings became known as his 'fireside chats. They made a great impression on the people, helping to sustain their morale through difficult times. On December 8th, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on the US navy at Pearl Harbor, 90 million Americans listened to Roosevelt refer to December 7th as ‘a date which will live in infamy' and ask Congress to declare war on Japan. The declaration happened the same day, and Roosevelt's fireside chats continued throughout the war.

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