November 7th 1944: FDR elected to a fourth term

On this day in 1944, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to an unprecedented fourth term in office. The Democratic President was first elected in 1932, defeating Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover. FDR pioneered the New Deal legislative programme which helped grow the US economy which had been failing in the Great Depression. He was elected to a third term in 1940 and following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941, FDR asked Congress to declare war and thus led America into the Second World War. He was an effective war leader, with US involvement proving a major factor in the eventual Allied defeat of Nazi Germany and their allies. However, FDR’s decision to intern Japanese-Americans during the war remains highly controversial. He won a fourth term near the end of the war in 1944 but died the following April, leaving the conclusion of the war to his successor Vice President Harry S. Truman. In order to ensure no future President could control the country for so long the 22nd Amendment was passed in 1951 to limit Presidents to two terms in office.

11/07/12 at 1:00pm
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