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Gather ‘round to hear FDR’s first fireside chat

In our NewsHour Shares video of the day, we look back 82 years ago, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the first of 30 “fireside chats.” His radio addresses helped to comfort and build confidence among Americans during the height of the Great Depression.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Finally to our NewsHour Shares of the day, something that caught our eye that might be of interest to you, too.

    Eighty-two years ago today, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered the first of 30 radio speeches, which came to be known as fireside chats. The addresses comforted American audiences and were designed to inspire confidence in the nation's leaders during the Great Depression.

    Here's a bit from the first fireside chat families gathered around their radios to hear in 1933.

  • PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT:

    You people must have faith. You must not be stampeded by rumors or guesses. Let us unite in banishing fear. We have provided the machinery to restore our financial system, and it is up to you to support and make it work.

    It is your problem, my friends, your problem, no less than it is mine.

    Together, we cannot fail.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Technology may have changed, but Roosevelt's chat idea survived, even in today's social media, where the phrase is used regularly to mean a more intimate exchange of information.

Listen to this Segment

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