This Day in History: March 4

On this day in 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated as the 32nd president of the United States. His inaugural address included what arguably became his most famous words: "Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

He had defeated Republican candidate Herbert Hoover, whom many blamed for the Great Depression, handily. It would be the first of an unprecedented four terms in office for the charismatic Roosevelt. (He died before he could complete his fourth.) No president before him served more than two terms, and none would do so afterward following passage of the 22nd amendment to the Constitution.

With his wide-ranging spate of "New Deal" legislation, Roosevelt guided the country through the worst economic downturn in the country's history. His leadership also helped the United States and the Allies achieve victory over the Axis powers in World War II.

Franklin Roosevelt was the fifth cousin of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th U.S. president, whom he greatly admired.

Roosevelt would serve as a model for future presidents on both sides of the political spectrum, from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton. To this day, he's ranked alongside George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as one of the best presidents in U.S. history.

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