Government and Politics

The American Presidency

What were the “fireside chats”?

They were radio broadcasts of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s (1882–1945) messages to the American people. FDR began making the informal addresses on March 12, 1933, during the long and dark days of the Great Depression. In his efforts to reassure the nation, FDR urged listeners to have faith in the banks and to support his New Deal measures. Sometimes beginning his talks with “My friends,” the radio broadcasts were enormously successful and attracted more listeners than even the most popular broadcasts during this “golden age” of radio. FDR continued his fireside chats into the 1940s, as Americans turned their attention to the war effort.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy History Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App