Presidents

Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Era (Republican, 1901-1908): When President William McKinley was assassinated in September 1901, Vice-president Theodore Roosevelt became President. Despite his party affiliation as a Republican, Roosevelt would be known for progressive policies, legislation curtailing the power of monopolies, ecological conservation, doubling the number of national parks, and a Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to ending the Russo-Japanese War. 

A mini-video summary of Roosevelt’s life can be seen here.

Bessie’s children loved their teddy bears. Find out why teddy bears are named after Theodore Roosevelt by clicking here.

Woodrow Wilson and World War I (Democrat, 1913-1921): From President of Princeton University to President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson championed  currency, credit and tariff reform, and established the Federal Trade Commission. Wilson, strongly opposed to war, kept the United States out of World War I until April 6, 1917.

The war would end November 11, 1918.  Veterans Day is now celebrated on November 11 to honor not only those Americans who fought in World War I but all veterans.

Wilson’s Fourteen Points delivered in a speech to Congress outlined what he believed would ensure lasting peace and fairness among all nations. Read the Fourteen Points here.

Listen to “Over There,” one of the most popular songs of World War I.

Herbert Hoover and the Stock Market Crash of 1929 (Republican, 1929-1933): On October 29, 1929 the stock market crashed. The large drop in the value of stocks on this day caused thousands of people, including Bessie and Lou, to lose much, if not all, of their savings. They called it “Black Tuesday.” The stock market crash was followed by hundreds of bank failures across the country as people rushed to withdraw their money. 

President Herbert Hoover, unable to stop the economic downturn of the Great Depression, would lose the next election to Franklin Roosevelt.  That public opinion no longer backed Prohibition which Hoover still supported helped determine Hoover’s defeat. In addition, the death of several veterans during the Bonus Army protest lost Hoover the support of veterans of both parties. 

Watch a video of  Black Tuesday here.

Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal (Democrat, 1933-1945):

Watch a newsreel of President Roosevelt’s inauguration here.

Millions lacked jobs and enough money to feel their families when Franklin D. Roosevelt became President.  He soon offered his New Deal intended to deliver relief, recovery and reform. The New Deal successfully provided jobs for millions of Americans through programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration.

However, Roosevelt was unable to end the Great Depression until the mobilization for World War 11 brought full employment and economic growth. Roosevelt would lead the country through World War 11 and with the help of his friend Winston Churchill and other Allies would liberate France and end the War.

Millions would watch Roosevelt’s funeral train in April 1945 as it made its way from Warm Springs, Georgia to Washington and on to Hyde Park, NY where he would be buried. The Standard Star of April 15, 1945 reported on the funeral train stopping in New Rochelle. Three hundred people went to the station and more waited by the tracks along the way to pay their respects. Watch this video about FDR’s funeral.

Other Presidents in Bessie’s America: William H. Taft (Republican, 1909-1913), Warren Harding (Republican, 1921-1923), and Calvin Coolidge (Republican, 1923-1929) were also presidents during the time Bessie lived in her beloved America. Harry S. Truman was president when Bessie died in the early 1950s.

Find photographs of all the Presidents here.