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Hopeful Nation Hears Roosevelt
The Washington Post
January 21, 1933; Page A01
Many Thousands See Swearing In Rites at Capitol
A sorely beset Nation yesterday forgot its cares and worries for a few hours to salute Franklin Delano Roosevelt, of New York, as he was ushered into the highest office the American people may offer.
While nearly half a million persons watched the ceremonies at the Capitol and the ensuing events of the inaugural day program and billions in all parts of the country heard the accounts by radio or read of them in newspapers. The new President launched into a vigorous attack on the evils which have fallen over the economic structure of the United States giving fair warning that drastic steps will be taken to relieve distress.
Moderate Weather Pleases
The entire inaugural day program moved as scheduled under cloudy skies which had replaced the sunshine of early morning. The weather, however, moderated as the day wore on and little discomfort was noticeable either among the participants or onlookers.
President Roosevelt and the man he had defeated last November, Herbert Clark Hoover, rode side by side in the traditional procession from the White House to the Capitol, accompanied by an escort of cavalrymen on prancing steeds, the first step in the launching of the day's pretentious program.
Hughes Administers Oath
At the Capitol, the first event was the swearing in of Vice President John Nance Garner, after which the notables in attendance moved out onto the Capitol Plaza, where Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes administered the oath of office to President Roosevelt.
It was at this point that the Democratic standard bearer swept into office by a landslide vote, choice of the people to bring a return of prosperity, first gave a hint of what might be expected during his administration.
Striking directly at those who have conducted the financial dealings of the country in recent years, Mr. Roosevelt said:
"There must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments, there must be a end to speculation with other people's money and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency."
Would Ask Wide Powers
Declaring he would ask Congress for immediate action on measures to solve the problems, the President warned that if such action were not immediately forthcoming he would "ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe."
With the cheers of the populace ringing in his ears, President Roosevelt bade good-by to his predecessor, who left shortly after the ceremony for New York and a vacation.
Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt then returned to the White House in an open car, the President waiving his hat and smiling as two solid lines of humanity along the parade route shouted themselves hoarse honoring their new leader. Mrs. Roosevelt acknowledged the plaudits with a graceful nod and a smile.
Parade Headed by MacArthur
Shortly after the President and First Lady had reached their new home for luncheon, the gigantic parade began to unfold in the vicinity of the Capitol. Headed by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, chief of staff of the Army and the Army band, the 3-hour-and-40-minute stream of bands, military units, marching clubs, floats, drum corps and automobiles passed along the Avenue, which has felt the trampling feet of so many inaugural marchers past the Court of Honor, where it was reviewed by the President and a distinguished gathering of high officials, foreign diplomats and leaders of the Nation's business.
Crowds along the line of march seemed to swing into the spirit of the occasion. A "new deal" had been promised them and they cheered with a confidence that had been strangely missing these last few months. Here, they seemed to say, was a man to lead them out of the wilderness of depression. So they joined in a mighty ovation with hope beating anew in every breast.
Quite in contrast to the rapid disappearance from the inaugural proceedings by former President Hoover was the appearance of Al Smith, "the Happy Warrior." Defeated four years ago by Mr. Hoover, beaten again when he sought the nomination at Chicago in June, the former Governor of New York marched valiantly with the delegation from his state.
And the tumult which accompanied his appearance was almost as great as that accorded the new President. Smilingly, Smith doffed his silk hat, waiving to his admirers and apparently having the time of his life in this hour of Democratic triumph.
Largest Number From New York
While New York delegations outnumbered those from other States, simply because the Empire State marchers had a native son to honor, democracy was represented from every city, town and hamlet, or so it seemed.
"Happy Days Are Here Again" was the theme song of the incoming administration. It was the theme song of yesterday's parade and a quarter of a million Democrats who came to Washington to taste the fruits of last Fall's victory seemed convinced their theme song would soon become a reality.
After the parade, Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt were hosts at a tea for nearly 2,000 guests, followed by a dinner for members of the family, the guests totaling 60.
The day's program continued, according to set plans, with participating bands and marching units engaging in contests on Constitution Avenue, where all might see, while a brilliant display of fireworks from the Monument Grounds last night attracted thousands of visitors as well as the home folk.
Meanwhile, the city struggled to regain normalcy. Street cars resumed their regular routes, police eased up on regulations which had been made for the parade, automobile traffic unsnarled itself, special trains chugged out Union Station carrying away hundreds who had come only for the one day, and residents of the Capital settled down for a peaceful Sabbath after entertaining for the event.
Democracy reigns for the first time since March 4, 1921.
© Copyright 1933 The Washington Post Company