May 27, 1941: With war raging in Europe, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared a national emergency. Roosevelt was particularly alarmed by Nazi Germany's threats of world domination. In a speech announcing the emergency, the president repeated the famous line first made during his 1933 inaugural address: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Roosevelt warned Germany that the United States was prepared to go to war if necessary; he warned of a frightening future — if the Nazis weren't stopped — in which Americans would be enslaved by Germany, godless Nazis would outlaw freedom of worship, and America's children would be forced to goose-step.
Roosevelt's comments were also aimed at isolationists who wanted to keep America out of the war. He reminded them that German submarines were attacking British shipping and threatening American shipping in the Atlantic and how brave British citizens were being ruthlessly bombed by the Nazis.
Quote of the day
"When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck to crush him." -Franklin D. Roosevelt
More from West Wing Reports...