The worst economic collapse this nation had faced since its beginning gripped the United States as Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn into office on a sunny, wind-swept Saturday in early March 1933. The Great Depression, which began with the stock market crash in October 1929, had shattered the prosperity most Americans had enjoyed during the decade of the 1920s.
Millions were unemployed as the nation faced this economic crisis. After asserting, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” Roosevelt went on to state, “Our primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously.” The next “Hundred Days” were unprecedented in terms of government action to address the stark economic realities the country was facing.