Franklin D. Roosevelt

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1935 Footage of FDR Made Head of His Library 'Gasp'

White House visitor Fred Hill recorded president walking in 1935

(Newser) - For seven seconds, the footage shows an American president walking to a White House railing to wave at a crowd. But "when I saw [it] ... I gasped," says Paul Sparrow, director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, which has acquired the silent film of the... More »

Historians Say 11 Presidents Were Better Than Obama

But he's still the best since Ronald Reagan: poll

(Newser) - Barack Obama was the best US president since Ronald Reagan, but he's got nothing on Abraham Lincoln. That's the takeaway from a C-SPAN survey of 91 historians who helped rank the best presidents in US history based on 10 criteria, including administrative skill, moral authority, crisis leadership, and... More »

Bernie Sanders Explains 'Democratic Socialism'

It's not about the government owning grocery stores, he says

(Newser) - Democratic socialism is nothing to be afraid of unless you think of FDR as a bogeyman, Bernie Sanders said in a landmark speech at Georgetown University on Thursday. "Democratic socialism means that we must reform a political system [that] is corrupt, that we must create an economy that works... More »

This President Had the Most 'Grandiose Narcissism'

Lyndon Johnson was full of himself, but it may have helped

(Newser) - When you're running the country, being narcissistic may come in handy. Psychologists and experts on presidential personalities have put together a list of the presidents who had the most "grandiose narcissism"—which, the Houston Chronicle explains, is characterized by a showy and extroverted personality. That's in... More »

FDR's Secret Caught on Video

Professor says he has found footage of president being pushed in wheelchair

(Newser) - A secret that was hidden from the public until after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's death was actually captured on video during his lifetime, says a professor at an Indiana college. Ray Begovich, a journalism professor at Franklin College south of Indianapolis, said yesterday that he found an 8-second clip... More »

Bill Murray Soars as FDR

But 'Hyde Park' itself isn't so hot, say critics

(Newser) - Bill Murray is getting generally strong reviews for his portrayal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Hyde Park on Hudson, although the movie itself—which centers on FDR's relationship with his cousin and eventual mistress—is disappointing critics. The Week checks out some reviews and sums it up: "Murray... More »

10 Weird Thanksgiving Facts

It was supposed to be a day for fasting...

(Newser) - Thanksgiving feasts and TV dinners may seem like polar opposites, but in fact, the holiday gave birth to the prepackaged meals. Swanson bought way too much turkey in 1953—an extra 260 tons of it—so a salesman suggested packing the leftovers into 5,000 aluminum trays, accompanied by sweet... More »

Obama Now Faces the '2nd-Term Curse'

Ever since George Washington, it's been a tough 4 years

(Newser) - The election is in the bag, but the fight isn't over for President Obama. Now he must fend off the so-called "second-term curse" that has dogged presidents from George Washington to George W, writes Adam Clymer in the New York Times . Washington faced protests over a post-Revolutionary War... More »

Hitler's Nephew to FDR: Can I Fight for US?

William Patrick Hitler's letter published online

(Newser) - Adolf Hitler's nephew was determined to fight in World War II—against his uncle. William Patrick Hitler fled Germany for New York in 1939, and in 1942 sought Franklin D. Roosevelt's permission to join the US military; he wrote that his "difficult and singular situation" could be... More »

Republicans Brace for Brokered Convention

Leaders dusting off rule books, readying for big fight

(Newser) - For much of American history, brokered conventions were the norm, but the two big parties have not had one since Democrats chose Adlai Stevenson in 1952. The Republicans' last brokered convention was 1948 when they picked Thomas Dewey (Gerald Ford beat Ronald Reagan on the first ballot in 1976). But... More »

Bill Murray to Play FDR

Actor set to star in Hyde Park On the Hudson

(Newser) - Bill Murray—presumably in serious mode—has been tapped to play Franklin Delano Roosevelt, sources tell New York . Murray is set to take on the role in Morning Glory director Roger Mitchell's adaptation of British radio play Hyde Park On the Hudson. The movie, set during the weekend in 1939... More »

Obama 15th-Best President, Scholars Say

George W. Bush, meanwhile, finishes not quite last

(Newser) - Two years in, Barack Obama looks like a pretty good president to the nation’s top presidential scholars. The 44th president came in 15th on the all-time list, two spots behind Bill Clinton and three ahead of Ronald Reagan, in a Siena College Research Institute Poll, the New York Daily ... More »

Latest ‘Miss Me Yet' Billboard: Jimmy Carter

'We need a good laugh after the theft of our liberty'

(Newser) - Following on the heels of the mysterious billboard with a photo of George W. Bush and the caption “Miss Me Yet?”, a blog unfriendly to President Obama’s expansive spending—and his health-reform plan, in particular—is claiming credit for a new one, this featuring Jimmy Carter. “We... More »

Obama Needs a Louder Left

Without a strong progressive movement, country won't shift leftward

(Newser) - If Barack Obama wants to be a transformational progressive president like Lyndon Johnson or FDR, he’s going to need a strong liberal movement in the streets. “Every Democratic president since Johnson has raised the hope that he would bring with him a new era of progressive reform,”... More »

Cancer May Have Killed FDR

Possible deception in 1944 election raises lots of what-if questions

(Newser) - Speculating about Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s real cause of death has been a popular sport for years, and now two authors have a provocative theory: brain cancer. The shifting opinions are well documented: FDR’s own doctor, who at first likened the deadly brain hemorrhage to a “bolt of... More »

Top US Political Dynasties

Kennedys, Rockefellers, and Harrisons sit at the top, while newer Bushes rank 6th

(Newser) - The Constitution states "no title of nobility shall be granted by the United States," but political dynasties are "as American as apple pie," writes Stephen Hess, who ranks America's top political families in the Washington Post. With one president, three senators, four reps, and a cabinet... More »

Learn From FDR, Obama, and Show Some Backbone

Roosevelt biographer says president needs to block out GOP

(Newser) - As President Obama prepares to pull away from a public health care option, it shows not just that he's giving in to his opponents, writes Jean Edward Smith; worse, it "suggests that the Democratic Party has forgotten how to govern." In an op-ed for the New York Times,... More »

Obama, Be Like FDR and Talk to Us

(Newser) - President Obama should man up and talk straight to the American people about health care reform—just like FDR did when trying to pass Social Security, Nancy J. Altman writes in the Los Angeles Times. Roosevelt succeeded with that program against similar odds—opponents cried “socialism” and said it... More »

On Financial Reforms, Obama Is No FDR

Proposed regulatory fixes don't actually fix much: Nocera

(Newser) - President Obama is hardly living up to the hype on fiscal regulatory reform, and he's not matching Franklin Roosevelt, either. When FDR reformed financial regulation, he transformed the industry, cheerfully making enemies in the process. Obama has been timid by comparison, writes Joe Nocera of the New York Times: “... More »

Bush's Failures Show the Need for Pragmatic Prez

Like Hoover, Dubya stuck to his principles rather than compromise

(Newser) - What exactly made George W. Bush such a terrible president? His unwavering commitment to his principles, Alan Brinkley argues in the New Republic. Most Americans favor idealists over realists, in theory, so the criticism might seem strange. But the presidents we remember for their lofty goals and convictions—such as... More »

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