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In advance of the address Roosevelt asked citizens to have a world map in front of them as they listened to him speak.
"I'm going to speak about strange places that many of them never heard of—places that are now the battleground for civilization," he told his speechwriters.
The result, according to economic historian William L.
Silber, was a "remarkable turnaround in the public's confidence ...
He closed the entire American banking system on March 6.
On March 9 Congress passed the Emergency Banking Act, which Roosevelt used to effectively create federal deposit insurance when the banks reopened. ET that Sunday night, on the eve of the end of the bank holiday, Roosevelt spoke to a radio audience of more than 60 million people, to tell them in clear language "what has been done in the last few days, why it was done, and what the next steps are going to be".
The one thing I dread is that my talks should be so frequent as to lose their effectiveness. Every time I talk over the air it means four or five days of long, overtime work in the preparation of what I say. Dear Sir: Being a citizen of little or no consequence I feel the utter futility of writing to the President at a time such as this, but I trust you will accept this letter in the spirit in which it was written.
Actually, I cannot afford to take this time away from more vital things. Secretary to the President The White House Washington. For me to sit down to write to any public official, whoever he may be, it must be prompted by a very special and appealing occasion or personality.
Letter to the White House following the first fireside chat on the Banking Crisis, eight days after taking office (March 12, 1933) 2232. I feel that he walked into my home, sat down and in plain and forceful language explained to me how he was tackling the job I and my fellow citizens gave him. Roosevelt's fireside chat of December 29, 1940, was heard by 59 percent of radio listeners.
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 ruining families nationwide.
Roosevelt spoke with familiarity to millions of Americans about the promulgation of the Emergency Banking Act in response to the banking crisis, the recession, New Deal initiatives, and the course of World War II.
Roosevelt was a great communicator on radio, and the fireside chats kept him in high public regard throughout his presidency.