Richard J. Garfunkel
WVOX – AM Radio 1460- 12 Noon Wednesday
March 5, 2008
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Wednesday, March 5, 2008, at 12:00 Noon, I am hosting my show “The Advocates” on WVOX- 1460 AM on your dial, or you can listen to its live streaming at www.wvox.com. One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to reach us on the radio. Today’s topic is “The 75th Anniversary of FDR’s First Inaugural, and the Emergence of the New Deal.” My guest this week is the distinguished journalist Mr. Milton Hoffman, who was with Westchester daily newspapers for 50 years. Mr. Hoffman retired five years ago as senior editor with the Journal News. Mr. Hoffman joined us in August for a discussion regarding “Westchester’s Changing Political Landscape, the last 50 Years.” We expect to spend some time talking about Tuesday’s primary results in both Texas and Ohio, and what implications these results will have on the Democratic nomination for President. We also have as our special call-in guest former Ambassador William vanden Heuval, who was a former assistant to Attorney-General Robert F. Kennedy, Chairman of the NYC Board of Corrections and Ambassador of the United Nations. He has been the Chairman of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt since 1984.
It was seventy-five years ago that Franklin Delano Roosevelt the 32nd President of the United States took the oath of office on a bleak March 4th day in Washington, in front of a restless crowd of anxious Americans. This was cataclysmic time for the American economy and people. The business failures in America had increased 50 % since 1928. The Gross National Product had been dropped 50% since those pre-collapse days of 1928. Unemployment went from 3% in the beginning of 1929 to 30% or more in March of 1933.
The scene was set for this dramatic day, and in the four long months from the time of FDR’s landslide victory over the hapless and helpless Herbert Hoover, the economy was in free-fall. With two-thirds of the banks shutting down in the United States, men selling apples in the streets, thousands lined up at soup kitchens, shanty-towns sprouting up allover the country, the Dust Bowl enveloping our farms, commodity prices at rock bottom, and the stock market with 13% of its September 1929 value, the country was teetering on either revolution or out right panic.
Of course, against this dramatic and frightening backdrop, Franklin D. Roosevelt made his way to the rostrum in front of the Capital of the United States to be sworn in as our 32nd President. Never since Lincoln’s time in 1861, with the onset of the Civil War, had the country been in such dire straights. With the assistance of his son Jimmy on one arm, and a Secret Serviceman on the other, FDR made his way down the special ramp constructed for him. The anticipation was incredible and quickly Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes read the oath of office and Franklin Roosevelt repeated it in his distinctive, clear unmistakable accent. With his taking the oath, “I Franklin Delano Roosevelt, so solemnly swear…” FDR entered into the exalted portals of history and the “Age of Roosevelt” began.
Meanwhile, the mission of the “Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current “public policy “issues. “Public policy,” therefore, is what we as a nation legally and traditionally follow. Over the years, the “public policy” of the United States has changed or has been modified greatly. As an example, “free public education” is the public policy of the United States. Also, over time great struggles have ensued over the control of the direction of “public policy” For example: free trade vs. protectionism, slavery vs. emancipation, state’s rights vs. Federalism, and an all-volunteer armed forces or the “draft.”
Richard J. Garfunkel