The World Stood Still : Tribute to President Roosevelt

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Franklin D.  Roosevelt in 1933.

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

The sounds of people dancing and laughing are overcome by the sounds of bombs.. "the world stood still." The death of President Roosevelt (1945-04-12).

Vignettes of people reacting to the news.

A soldier remembering wearing his father's shoes to school because he had none of his own. He remembers hearing "the only thing we have to fear.." and says things changed then: something good happened. "He was almost like a father to me, and he's dead."

A boy asks his mother why she isn't glad the president has died. She says "today we are just people who lost a great man." She remembers when her husband was losing his business -- and his courage -- and they were upset when the president was elected. The son and mother cry together: "I guess I loved him too, mom, only I can't tell him now.."

Rev. George Washington Taylor, of Austin, Texas, says: "he was Moses. He came down here to the forgotten places..."

Mrs. Emma Van Dyke of Sam Houston College, says: Who would know what Roosevelt meant to a negro student? ...Roosevelt made a college education possible for me.." "When will we have another friend like Roosevelt?"

A few dramatic reenactments of Roosevelt speeches (equality, New Deal) and archival audio (Italian and German speeches; Japanese invasion newscast; Cardinal Spellman's reaction; Churchill's reaction).

Famous people and international reactions to the news.

Note: for use elsewhere, confirm provenance of archival audio.

Lyon Weir - Writer & Producer
Jerry Sandler - Director
Frank Norwood - Sound Technician
Burt Cowlan - Narrator
Jack Curtis, Selma Sand, Jack Tureen, Philip Wolfe - Cast

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 69449
Municipal archives id: LT485