American RadioWorks |
(Photos: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library)

The First Family of Radio

When Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president in 1932, he and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt both used the new medium of radio to reach into American homes like never before. They rallied the nation to combat the Great Depression and fight fascism. The Roosevelts forged an uncommonly personal relationship with the people. This documentary explores how FDR and ER's use of radio revolutionized the way Americans relate to the White House and its occupants.

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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Encourage education

File under: education

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From: Grace E. R., Portland, OR

I was born into poverty. My mother and father were born into poverty. Both did not make it through to high school. These two uneducated people did the best they could with what they had -- which was not much -- had us three kids, and eventually (because of alcoholism) split up, leaving us kids in foster home system from hell. This was in the 1950s. I often wonder what would have happened if my mother were educated beyond high school. She would have made better choices because she would have had a salary of her own, not been so dependent on her guy. I wonder what would have happened if my father would have been educated through high school and beyond. He would have been able to support his family. He would have had better self-esteem, and perhaps would have not turned to alcohol to mask his pain and shame. Both my parents were brilliant, but did not have a way to express themselves and serve their communities due to limitations in their educations.


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American RadioWorks |
(Photos: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library)

The First Family of Radio

When Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president in 1932, he and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt both used the new medium of radio to reach into American homes like never before. They rallied the nation to combat the Great Depression and fight fascism. The Roosevelts forged an uncommonly personal relationship with the people. This documentary explores how FDR and ER's use of radio revolutionized the way Americans relate to the White House and its occupants.

Recent Posts

  • 11.24.14

    Academic Fraud and College Athletics

    Last month the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill released a report that showed evidence of nearly two decades of academic fraud perpetuated by the school’s Afro-American Studies Department. An investigation found certain professors and administrators had an unwritten policy of “propping up” student athletes. This week on the podcast, we look at academic fraud at colleges with high-stakes sports programs.
  • 11.17.14

    The Utility of a PhD

    Humanities professors at colleges and universities are re-thinking what it means to offer a PhD. The old model is proving unsustainable. It takes an average nine years to get a doctorate, but less than 60 percent of PhDs are finding tenure-track teaching jobs. This week, we look at a new report recommending academics view doctoral programs in a new light.
  • 11.10.14

    Radio: FDR’s ‘Natural Gift’

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a radio natural. He spoke in a confident, informal way, using simple words and phrases that were easy to grasp.
  • 11.12.14

    The Roosevelts as a political team

    Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt were not the first White House couple to act as political partners, but they were the first to do so in such a public fashion.