FDR delivers his fourth inaugural address from the balcony at the White House. January 20, 1945. — Franklin D. Roosevelt Library

January 20, 1945

FDR Delivers His Fourth Inaugural Address

President Roosevelt talks to war-weary Americans about their role in establishing a lasting peace.

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Roosevelt, president, inaugural, inauguration, address, speech, white house, fourth term, durable peace

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Having been elected to an unprecedented fourth term, on January 20, 1945, a visibly ailing President Roosevelt delivered his inaugural address from the White House balcony to the American people who had just endured three years of war.

The liberation of Rome and the D-Day landings at Normandy had occurred the previous spring and, at the time of Roosevelt’s inauguration, the Allies had already liberated virtually all of France, most of Belgium, and part of southern Netherlands. In Poland, the Soviets had taken Warsaw and Krakow and laid siege to the Hungarian capital of Budapest. The German army was in full retreat and President Roosevelt turned his war-weary nation’s attention to the future and their role in ensuring a just, honorable, and lasting peace. Criticizing isolationists, he reminded the American people: “We have learned that we cannot live alone, at peace; that our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of other nations, far away…. We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community.”

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Typically, daily newspapers reported news the morning after it occurred. However, some papers were printed in multiple editions, including evening news. If you are using an evening paper, begin your search on the same day as the event being researched.

January 20-22, 1945 News articles about President Roosevelt’s fourth inaugural address.

January 21-31, 1945 Editorials, op-eds, letters to the editor, and cartoons reacting to President Roosevelt’s fourth inaugural address.


Breitman, Richard, and Allan J. Lichtman. FDR and the Jews. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013.

Newton, Verne W., ed. FDR and the Holocaust. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996.

Rosen, Robert N. Saving the Jews: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Holocaust. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2006.

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