Nowadays, seeing a politician’s face on TV and hearing their voice on the radio is customary. President Obama’s voice and image appear in the media countless times every day. But there was a time, long ago, when politicians didn’t typically address the nation via media. However, on March 12, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed that forever.
On March 12, President Roosevelt gave the first fireside chat, titled On the Bank Crisis. With his fireside chats, President Roosevelt used the medium of radio to speak directly to the people of the United States outlining his plans and his commentary regarding major events during his presidency including The Great Depression, The New Deal, and WWII.
The President no longer felt like some figure, far off in the distant land of Washington. He entered people’s homes, sat by the fire and discussed with them the challenges facing their nation, and more importantly how he intended to face them.
Roosevelt held thirty fireside chats before his death on April 12, 1945.