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FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT - THE THIRD TERM - 1941
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT - THE THIRD TERM - 1941
 

The Ballot or the Bullet

 


Go here for more about
Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Go here for more about
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Third Inaugural Address.


 

It follows the full text transcript of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Third Inaugural address, delivered on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C. - January 20, 1941.


 

Franklin D. Roosevelt - Third Inaugural Address On each national day of inauguration since 1789, the people have renewed their sense of dedication to the United States.

In Washington's day the task of the people was to create and weld together a nation.

In Lincoln's day the task of the people was to preserve that Nation from disruption from within.

In this day the task of the people is to save that Nation and its institutions from disruption from without.

To us there has come a time, in the midst of swift happenings, to pause for a moment and take stock to recall what our place in history has been, and to rediscover what we are and what we may be. If we do not, we risk the real peril of inaction.

Lives of nations are determined not by the count of years, but by the lifetime of the human spirit. The life of a man is three-score years and ten: a little more, a little less. The life of a nation is the fullness of the measure of its will to live.

There are men who doubt this. There are men who believe that democracy, as a form of Government and a frame of life, is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate that, for some unexplained reason, tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future-and that freedom is an ebbing tide.

But we Americans know that this is not true.

Eight years ago, when the life of this Republic seemed frozen by a fatalistic terror, we proved that this is not true. We were in the midst of shock-but we acted. We acted quickly, boldly, decisively.

These later years have been living years-fruitful years for the people of this democracy. For they have brought to us greater security and, I hope, a better understanding that life's ideals are to be measured in other than material things.

Most vital to our present and our future is this experience of a democracy which successfully survived crisis at home; put away many evil things; built new structures on enduring lines; and, through it all, maintained the fact of its democracy.

For action has been taken within the three-way framework of the Constitution of the United States. The coordinate branches of the Government continue freely to function. The Bill of Rights remains inviolate. The freedom of elections is wholly maintained. Prophets of the downfall of American democracy have seen their dire predictions come to naught.

Democracy is not dying.

We know it because we have seen it revive-and grow.

We know it cannot die-because it is built on the unhampered initiative of individual men and women joi