FDR’s First Fireside Chat…

was on this date in 1933.

President Franklin Roosevelt spoke to the people on the banking crisis just eight days after taking office. He began:

My friends:

I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking — to talk with the comparatively few who understand the mechanics of banking, but more particularly with the overwhelming majority of you who use banks for the making of deposits and the drawing of checks.

You may read the the entire talk here or listen to it here [RealAudio].

In all, Roosevelt gave about 30 Fireside Chats. The National Archives describes them:

During the 1930s almost every home had a radio, and families typically spent several hours a day gathered together, listening to their favorite programs. Roosevelt called his radio talks about issues of public concern “Fireside Chats.” Informal and relaxed, the talks made Americans feel as if President Roosevelt was talking directly to them. Roosevelt continued to use fireside chats throughout his presidency to address the fears and concerns of the American people as well as to inform them of the positions and actions taken by the U.S. government.