The Cold War

FDR Death, And Harry Truman Succession To The Presidency Commemorated!

Sixty nine years ago, in the midst of late stages of World War II, the longest serving American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, passed away at the age of 63 in Warm Springs, Georgia.

The impact of FDR in his years in office, and the continued significance of his policies and actions, reverberates in America seven decades later, and he is usually ranked second or third among all Presidents in polls and surveys of Presidential scholars.

Serving more than 12 years and starting a fourth term in office, he had a far greater impact in many ways than Abraham Lincoln, who is usually ranked as the greatest American President.

FDR’s “New Deal” still affects America, and his leadership in World War II was crucial for the survival of democracy in the nation and the world.

The death of FDR also led to the Presidency of Harry Truman, tremendously underrated throughout his Presidency and for a generation after his retirement.

But once Truman passed away, recognition of his courageous, principled leadership emerged, and now he is ranked in the top five or six of all Presidents!

His continuation and expansion of the New Deal through the Fair Deal, and his strong leadership in the emerging Cold War made his Presidency extremely significant!

107th Anniversary Of World War I Declaration!

On this date, April 6, 1917, America entered World War I, after four days of debate of President Woodrow Wilson’s War Message.

America emerged from an isolationist stance, and finally rejected George Washington’s admonition in his Farewell Address in 1796, warning against “entangling alliances”.

Sadly in the 1920s, and more so in the 1930s, America returned to isolationism, until forced out of that stance by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Despite isolationist elements in the Republican Party after World War II, the US dealt with the Cold War with the Soviet Union by helping to form NATO, now 75 years of success in protecting America and its European allies.

But the battle against isolationism continues, as Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans threaten to end NATO engagement, and embrace authoritarian dictators, just as many of the isolationists in the 1930s embraced Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, and worked to keep America neutral as Fascism advanced.

The Presidential Election of 2024 is another battle between internationalists and isolationists, and it is a battle that must be fought for the national security of America and the promotion of democracy against authoritarian threats.

Joe Biden Arguably Has Faced The Worst Set Of Crises Other Than Lincoln And FDR!

Abraham Lincoln faced the breakup of the Union and the Civil War in his Presidency from 1861-1865.

Franklin D. Roosevelt faced the Great Depression, the growing threat of Fascism and Nazism, and World War II, from 1933-1945.

Other than Lincoln and FDR, the question arises which other Presidents faced crises on a level as dangerous and challenging as those two Presidents.

One could say George Washington facing the challenge of making the Constitution work, and the nation able to survive as a republic from 1789-1797.

One could say Harry Truman, facing the challenge of sudden elevation to the Presidency in a time when World War II was not yet resolved, and having to deal with the threat of the Soviet Union during the Cold War years from 1945-1953.

One could say John F. Kennedy, facing the threat of the Soviet Union, including the Berlin Crisis and the Cuban Missile Crisis, which dominated his time in the Presidency, from 1961-1963.

One could say George W. Bush, facing the challenge of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, and the dual wars fought during his Presidency in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Great Recession which developed in his last year in office, from 2001-2009.

One could also say Barack Obama, facing the challenge of the Great Recession, the worst economic downturn since the 1930s, and the constant domestic resistance from the right wing Tea Party Movement, and the growing extremism of the Republican Party, from 2009-2017.

But one could also argue that Joe Biden, facing the COVID 19 Pandemic; the growing epidemic of mass murders by firearms by domestic terrorists and mentally disturbed people; and the threat of nuclear war in the midst of the greatest foreign policy crisis (The Russia-Ukraine War) since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, is the greatest challenge and crisis other than Lincoln and FDR!

The 166th Anniversary Of The “National Newspaper” With More Pulitzer Prizes Than Any Other: The New York Times

Today is the 166th Anniversary of a treasured newspaper, seen as the “National Newspaper” of America, the New York Times.

Founded on September 18, 1851, the New York Times has recorded America’s history and that of the world through the Civil War, the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, The Great Depression and the New Deal, the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Vietnam War, The Watergate Scandal, The Reagan and Clinton Era, September 11, the Obama Era, and now the Trump Presidency and the challenges it presents to a free press.

Through it all, it has been the leader in news reporting and scoops often unique from others, and has been under attack by those who are angry that it exposes evil and wrong doing so often.

The New York Times has made its mistakes and had some stories later demonstrated to be untrue or manufactured, and is certainly far from perfect, but what source is perfect?

But it has admitted its shortcomings when they have become evident.

It is the newspaper of record, with the best index for researchers, writers, and historians. It has won 122 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper, and has the highest paper circulation of any metropolitan daily newspaper in America.

It is the only paper to have such an index going back to its founding in 1851. Any one doing newspaper research would need to search the archives of the NY Times as a beginning point for other research.

It has a slogan: “All The News That’s Fit To Print”, very appropriate for a great newspaper that has changed knowledge by its efforts in all fields of learning and public interest.