Freedom From Fear
A few months after D-Day, FDR is reelected as president for an unprecedented fourth term. A few days after his inauguration in January 1945, he flies to Yalta, on the Black Sea, to meet with allies Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin . Russia's Red Army is only fifty miles east of Berlin; Allied forces are turning back a powerful army in Belgium at the horrendous Battle of the Bulge. Soviet forces liberate a German concentration camp at Auschwitz, in Poland, and see the unimaginable horrors committed by the Nazis . In the Pacific, in February, General Douglas MacArthur recaptures the Philippines .
In April, President Roosevelt is in Warm Springs, Georgia. He is exhausted, and needs a few days rest . He is writing a speech, thinking about the peace that is to come. He writes: "The mere conquest of our enemies is not enough. We must go on to do all in our power to conquer the doubts and the fears, the ignorance and the greed, which made this horror possible." And then suddenly Roosevelt raises a hand to his temple, and says "I have a terrific headache." They are the last words he will ever speak .
The flag-draped coffin begins its long journey to Washington . Unable to sleep, Eleanor watches from the train. Later she writes about it: "I lay in my berth, looking out at the countryside he had loved and watching the faces of the people at stations, and even at crossroads, who had come to pay their last tribute through the night."