Franklin D. Roosevelt
On October 22, 1996, the Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton, named the 30th ship of the Arleigh Burke class ROOSEVELT. The USS ROOSEVELT (DDG-80) is the first ship so named to honor both Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States and the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. Mr. Dalton made the announcement at an event marking Roosevelt History Month at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington. "Naval Commanders found an ardent ally and vocal supporter in FDR," Mr. Dalton said. "As Commander-in-Chief during the most trying period of our nations history, he maintained a clear sense of the mission at hand."
Franklin D. Roosevelt entered public service as a State Senator in his native New York in 1910. President Woodrow Wilson appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy, an assignment he held for seven years. Elected to the first of four terms as President in 1932-during the depths of the Great Depression. Roosevelt helped the American people regain faith in themselves. He brought hope as he promised prompt, vigorous action, asserting in his first Inaugural Address, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." His "New Deal" was a wide ranging economic and social program that greatly expanded the role of the federal government.
32nd President of the United States
In 1940, while attempting to keep the United States out of the brewing war in Europe, after France fell and England came under attack, Roosevelt sent all possible aid short of actual U.S. Military involvement. Then immediately following the japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt directed the organization of the nation's manpower and resources for global war.
Sir Winston Churchill called FDR, "The greatest American friend we have ever known... and the greatest champion of freedom who has ever brought help and comfort from the new world to the old."
The First Lady
Upon FDR's election as President in 1932, Eleanor became a powerful voice on issues from youth employment to civil rights. Eleanor traveled around the world visiting sick and injured service-men, fostering good will among the Allies, and boosting the morale of U.S. Military personnel overseas.
A published author, who conducted press conferences and had her own radio program, she was a prolific writer with many articles and books to her credit including a multi-volume autobiography. In late 1935, she began a daily syndicated newspaper column, "My Day" in which she candidly expressed her opinions on the issues of the day.
She was twice served as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations (1945-52 and 1961-62). She chaired the UN Human Rights Commission, and was entirely responsible for drafting the UN declaration of Human Rights, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1998.
Mrs. Roosevelt received many awards for her humanitarian efforts, and remained in great demand as a speaker and lecturer, both in person and through the media of radio and television.