“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.” —President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Pan American Day Address,” Washington, D. C., April 14, 1939
America’s 32nd President died on this day 72 years ago today in Warm Springs, Ga. Many Americans could not imagine the future without him—largely because, having refused to be conquered by fate himself, he would not let his country give in to fear.
Historian William E. Leuchtenburg has titled his analysis of this outsized President’s legacy, In the Shadow of FDR. Roosevelt had his faults, but an easily cowed spirit was not among them, and he communicated this to his countrymen as they faced the Great Depression and the Age of Dictators.