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America Tunes into FDR's First "Fireside Chat"

March 12, 1933. Only eight days after his inauguration, President Roosevelt took to the air waves to let us know how the country is doing. Millions gathered around their radios to listen in.

The subject was banking. The President explained to the Country in simple terms why so many banks had failed and why he had decided to close them down on March 6 (the so-called "bank holiday.") He then described the measures that Congress was taking to make sure that a banking crisis would not happen again.

The President ended his talk by asking Americans to show confidence in Government by depositing money in their local banks when they reopen tomorrow.