Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936

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Author: Franklin D. Roosevelt  | Date: October 15, 1936

181 Rear-Platform Remarks at Grand Rapids, Mich.
October 15, 1936

Mr. Mayor, Governor Murphy, my friends:

I am very glad to come to Grand Rapids. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Grand Rapids and this part of the State of Michigan, because so many of the good people here are descended from the same old Holland stock as I.

When we are making up the budget down in Washington, every department of the Government wants to have a little bit more money, as you can well imagine. When the President of the United States starts in to pare the budget and cut it down, the favorite expression is that it is my old Dutch blood which cuts it down.

Last night in Chicago, I was talking about conditions as they were four years ago and comparing them with conditions of today. Grand Rapids is a very good example of what has happened in four years. One of the points I made was that the return of prosperity did not just happen. Something had to be done—action had to be taken- to bring prosperity back.

In Grand Rapids you have an example of how we thought things through. The first thing necessary in 1933 was to stop people from starving, to give relief, to provide immediate work, to lend money to municipalities for furnishing work—in other words, to stop the deflation from going on.

After we had done that, there came the next step— the taking of measures to enable people to improve their living conditions. Through the establishment of many agencies, after we had saved many homes, we encouraged people to build new homes and to repair old homes. The Federal Housing Administration, in the last two years, has been responsible for the building or improvement of over five hundred million dollars’ worth of homes. Let it be made perfectly clear that this money was not Government money. It was all private money from private lending agencies and all the Government did was to insure a portion of the loan. And, incidentally, it was a pretty good business proposition, because the loans are now being paid back, for the simple reason that people now have work.

Then came a third step—and this is where Grand Rapids comes in. After the homes were built and modernized, they had to have something to put into them, and Grand Rapids is providing the furniture that goes into those new and modernized homes.

It is, of course, a matter of record that the furniture industry, just to take one example of many industries today, is working at a much higher peak than at any time since 1929. I believe that the people of this country appreciate the fact that intelligent interest on the part of their Federal Government has resulted in very great strides in the last three and a half years toward bringing the country back to normal prosperity.

My friends, I hope in the next four years I shall be able to come to Grand Rapids as President of the United States and see you again.

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Chicago: Franklin D. Roosevelt, "181 Rear-Platform Remarks at Grand Rapids, Mich.," Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936 in Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936 (New York: Russell & Russell, 1938-1950), Item 238 Original Sources, accessed October 21, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=167NQ12NG5QW3N4.

MLA: Roosevelt, Franklin D. "181 Rear-Platform Remarks at Grand Rapids, Mich." Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936, in Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936 (New York: Russell & Russell, 1938-1950), Item 238, Original Sources. 21 Oct. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=167NQ12NG5QW3N4.

Harvard: Roosevelt, FD, '181 Rear-Platform Remarks at Grand Rapids, Mich.' in Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936. cited in , Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936 (New York: Russell & Russell, 1938-1950), Item 238. Original Sources, retrieved 21 October 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=167NQ12NG5QW3N4.