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A New Deal for Americans

By the time Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) was inaugurated as the thirty-second president of the United States on March 4, 1933, the U.S. banking system had ceased to function. Roosevelt's first action as president was to take control of the banking system and stabilize the situation. Key actions included declaration of a nationwide bank holiday—a suspension of banking activities and closure of banks. The "holiday" allowed for the passage of the Emergency Banking Relief Act and Roosevelt's first "fireside chat," a radio broadcast to approximately sixty million worried Americans. These actions restored confidence in governmental leadership and in the banks. On March 13, only nine days after inauguration, banks began to reopen, Americans deposited more than they withdrew, and the U.S. banking system was saved.

The first few days of Roosevelt...

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A New Deal for Americans from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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