TheStarsAreRight:Statement By Governor Franklin D Roosevelt
Statement by Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt
October 18th, 1932
Broadcast nationwide over all major radio stations.
My fellow Americans and my friends:
Tonight my single duty is to speak to the whole of America.
Until three-thirty this afternoon I had hoped against hope that some miracle would prevent a devastating and un-natural disaster from striking the city of New York within the next day.
For four long years a succession of strange events and constant crises have shaken the entire world. Nations have been toppled, and their entire peoples inexplicably changed in their habits and beliefs. Millions have perished at the hands of lunatics and dictators; and with each surge of evil and ancient forces, the world has been brought closer to a gigantic conflict -- which is today unhappily a fact.
It is right that I should recall to your minds the terrible Madisonville disaster; and the so-called Day of Miracles; and the mysterious fate of Springfield. The United States is not immune to the strangeness afflicting the entire world.
It is right that I reveal the consistent and often successful efforts of the Federal Government in these crises to conceal the true nature of the threat facing humanity.
It is right, too, to point out that the unfortunate events of these recent years have, without question, been based on the use of extraordinary powers and the threat of force -- supernatural and spiritual force, of a malign nature. And it seems to me clear, even as this terrible event looms, that the influence of America should be consistent in seeking for humanity a final reckoning which will eliminate, as far as it is possible to do so, the use of supernatural powers to threaten nations or control populations.
I think it is honest for me to be honest with the people of New York and the United States.
The unified and urgent advice of scientists working for the State, and for the Federal Government, is that before October 20th an event perhaps as disastrous as the destruction of Madisonville, or the decimation of Moscow, will occur in Manhattan. Signs and portents are visible nearly every day; by tomorrow every resident of Manhattan will realize the danger.
It is, of course, impossible to predict the future. I am receiving a constant stream of information from New York state authorities and the Federal government. You, the people of this country, are receiving news through your radios and your newspapers at every hour of the day.
You are, I believe, the most enlightened and the best informed people in all the world at this moment. You are subjected to no censorship of news, and I hope that our Government has no information which it hesitates to withhold from you or which it has any thought of withholding from you.
At the same time it is of the highest importance that the press and the radio use the utmost caution to discriminate between actual verified fact on the one hand, and mere rumor on the other.
I can add to that by saying that I hope the people of this country will also discriminate most carefully between news and rumor. Do not believe of necessity everything you hear or read. Check up on it first.
You must master at the outset a simple but unalterable fact in this modern world: the form of the natural world is changing, and not just in New York City, or in foreign countries, but everywhere.
It is easy for you and for me to shrug our shoulders and to say that strange or supernatural events taking place thousands of miles from the continental United States, and, indeed, thousands of miles from the whole American Hemisphere, do not seriously affect the Americas -- and that all the United States has to do is to ignore them and go about our own business. Passionately though we may desire detachment, we are forced to realize that every word that comes through the air, every strange dream sent to a populace, every change that is wrought to nature itself does affect the American future.
Let no man or woman thoughtlessly or falsely talk of America being safe, of the supernatural as being hokum. At this moment there is being prepared a proclamation calling for the evacuation of Manhattan's population, and the establishment of martial law in that borough of New York City. The naval and military forces of the United States, the National Guard of New York, and all the police and emergency services of the state of New York, are focused on a sudden and dire threat.
It is of the utmost importance that the people of this country, with the best information in the world, think things through. The most dangerous enemies of American peace and safety are those who, without well-rounded information on the whole broad subject of the past, the present and the future, undertake to speak with assumed authority, to talk in terms of glittering generalities, to give to the nation assurances or prophecies which are of little present or future value.
Some things we do know. Most of us in the United States believe in spiritual values. Most of us, regardless of what church we belong to, believe in the spirit of the New Testament -- a great teaching which opposes itself to the use of force, of spiritual coercion, or wickedness. The overwhelming masses of our people seek peace -- peace at home, and the kind of peace in other lands which will not jeopardize our peace at home.
We have certain ideas and certain ideals of national safety and we must act to preserve that safety today and to preserve the safety of our children in future years.
That safety is and will be bound up with the safety of the entire world. We seek to keep un-natural disaster from our own firesides by thwarting those who would gather strange powers. For that we have historic precedent that goes back to the days of the Puritans. It is serious enough and tragic enough to every American family in every state in the Union to live in a world that is torn by by tragic changes on other Continents. And those changes will someday affect every American home. It is our national duty to use every effort to keep those changes beneficial.
And at this time let me make the simple plea that partisanship and selfishness be adjourned; and that national unity be the thought that underlies all others.
This nation will remain a nation of laws, but our laws must take account of facts and science. Each citizen cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience. Our fellow citizens, our fellow men, will be affected by these changes; a modern witch hunt had no place in the United States.
In spite of spreading and unimaginable dangers I think that we have every right and every reason to maintain as a national policy the fundamental moralities, the teachings of religion and the continuation of efforts to maintain peace -- for because some day, though the time may be distant, we can be of even greater help to a crippled humanity.
I hope the United States will prevent this catastrophe. I believe that it will. And I give you assurances and reassurance that every effort of your state and city Governments will be directed toward that end.
As long as it remains within my power to prevent, there will be no descent into chaos in the United States.
note by Michael
Steve did a great job reading the speech; alas it wasn't recorded. *But* you can hear the speech I based Roosevelt's announcement on (in September 1939). http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/speech-3315