Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1933 Inauguration as U.S. President

On March 4, 1933, newly elected President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave the first of many inaugural addresses. This inauguration came in the midst of turmoil for the United States as the Great Depression was upon the country, causing life to be far from what it had been a decade prior. From this address came the famous line, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” New York Daily News journalist Grace Robinson attended the ceremony.



Inauguration invitation and envelope, 1933. Box 65, folder 20, Collection #6941, Grace Robinson papers, UW American Heritage Center.

Starting in 1933, Grace Robinson became one of many journalists assigned to cover the presidency of Roosevelt and the work of then First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Mrs. Roosevelt was known for holding press conferences for female journalists which were then dubbed the “hen press.”



Inauguration ticket, March 4, 1933. Box 65, folder 22, Collection #6941, Grace Robinson papers, UW American Heritage Center.

Robinson sat fairly close to the platform on the Capitol steps during the 1933 inaugural. Following the ceremony, she attended the White House reception, that Mrs. Roosevelt received alone. Just minutes after being inaugurated, FDR had been called to an emergency cabinet meeting.


Inauguration program, March 4, 1933. Box 65, folder 21, Collection #6941, Grace Robinson papers, UW American Heritage Center.

Robinson attended future inaugurations of FDR and her collection contains materials that she kept from those events. The Grace Robinson papers also contains clippings and other notes about the FDR presidency.

– Submitted by Katey Parris and Brianna Reeves, students in the AHC Reference Department.

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