History remembers Franklin Delano Roosevelt as one of the greatest presidential orators of all time. Inspiring speeches delivered when the world was its most vulnerable were his forte. ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself’ (his 1933 inaugural address) and ‘The Four Freedoms’ (his 1941 State of the Union address) are just two of many addresses that were born from his remarkable intellect and vision. They were designed to spur the nation, and the world, into action. However, probably one of his most renowned addresses concerned a smaller domestic matter.
On September 23rd 1944, Roosevelt kicked off his fourth presidential campaign at a dinner hosted by the International Teamsters Union in Washington DC. He chose to greet the gathering with a speech focusing on Republican charges that he commissioned a naval destroyer - at great cost to the American taxpayers - to retrieve his dog Fala from the Aleutian Islands after leaving his four-legged companion in the Alaskan outpost by accident.
|Here I am flanked by FDR and Fala!|
This is what FDR told his audience that night.