Era of FDR’s Fireside Chats Begins
On this day – March 12, 1933 – just a week after his inauguration, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his first national radio address or “fireside chat” broadcast directly from the White House thus launching a series talks with nation. FDR relied on simple language and folksy anecdotes or analogies to explain the often complex issues facing the country. The folks at home not guided by a television image but by their own vision of the President sitting with them in their homes felt a direct connection in a friendly but serious conversation. He began many of the nighttime chats with the greeting “My friends,” and referred to himself as “I” and the American people as “you” as if addressing his listeners directly and personally.These iconic chats brought the nation and its President close together.
Journalist Robert Trout coined the phrase “fireside chat” to describe Roosevelt’s radio addresses, invoking an image of the president sitting by a fire in a living room, speaking earnestly to the American people about his hopes and dreams for the nation. In fact, Roosevelt took great care to make sure each address was accessible and understandable to ordinary Americans, regardless of their level of education. He used simple vocabulary and relied on folksy anecdotes or analogies to explain the often complex issues facing the country.
Read the full article here at History.com.
Man listening to a fireside chat – from the FDR Memorial in Washington, DC