FDR (1982 ABC documentary on president Franklin D. Roosevelt)


Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
This following is the greatest FDR documentary I have seen.

The documentary is hosted by the likes of some of the great journalists of the times such as Peter Jennings . Though the above is a 2.5 hour documentary, I have to say I was interested the entire time from start to finish. We learn that for example during WW2 some of Roosevelts political opponents made up a story that while on a oversea trip that FDR sent a destroyer to get his dog Fella that he forgot. FDR responded to the made up allegation in a comedic yet intelligent way. Roosevelt talked about how he and his family can handle personal attacks, but his dog Fella wont have any of it.

One of the benefits of this FDR documentary is that we get to hear opinions on FDR from the 4 living Presidents of the time which were Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. During WW2, Nixon, Ford , Carter and Reagan were all young men...and they spoke with respect about how they viewed the legacy of FDR. Reagan specifically said that FDR had an ability to inspire the people and lead our country through WW2 which made FDR one of the countries greatest Presidents. Nixon said at his best, he(FDR) was a great leader. Carter talked about how FDR had a direct and positive impact on Carter when Carter was 14 years old. Because FDR helped to bring electricity to the Tennessee Valley and other Farmers of the country, Jimmy Carter at a 14 year old was a part of a farm family who benefited from programs brought to the country by FDR. Ford said as a young student he listened to FDRs fireside chats, and Ford was impressed by FDR.

The first half the documentary mainly discusses how Roosevelt dealt with the great depression. We see how the Public Works Programs and other programs from the New Deal helped Americans get back to work in the 1930s. Through fireside chats FDR would keep the spirit of Americans positive.

About half way through the documentary we get to how FDR handled WW2. Keep in mind this documentary was shown in the USA in 1982...when The USSR was still a world power. And its very interesting to hear how the 4 living Presidents of the time talked about the Soviet Union whom were the allies of the USA during WW2 but of course after Churchills Iron Curtain speech and the subsequent cold war the USSR and USA grew apart.
Last edited: