Franklin D. Roosevelt

Christmas Greeting to the Nation

December 24, 1934

This is the second year that I have joined with you on this happy occasion. Then, as now, with millions of others we celebrate the happy observance of Christmas.

The year toward which we looked then with anticipation and hope has passed. We have seen fulfilled many things that a year ago were only hopes. Our human life thus goes on from anticipation and hope to fulfillment. This year again we are entitled to new hopes and new anticipations.

For all those who can hear but not see this gathering, let me explain that here before us in the park in front of the White House is the monument of a man who will live forever as the embodiment of courage—Andrew Jackson. His was a long, long life in the public service, distinguished at all times by a chivalrous meeting of problems and difficulties that attended that service, a fast belief in people and a profound love for them. His patriotism was unstained and unafraid. Carved into that monument is his expression of the necessity for union. That message grows in importance with the years.

In these days it means to me a union not only of the States but a union of the hearts and minds of the people in all the States and their many interests and purposes, devoted with unity to the human welfare of our country.

Just across the street is the house he occupied one hundred years ago, the house the people of the country have built for their Presidents. From its windows I see this monument to this man of courage. It is an inspiration to me, as it should be to all Americans.

And so let us make the spirit of Christmas of 1934 that of courage and unity. It is the way to greater happiness and wellbeing. That is, I believe, an important part of what the Maker of Christmas would have it mean.

In this sense, the Scriptures admonish us to be strong and of good courage, to fear not, to dwell together in Unity.

I wish you one and all, here and everywhere, a very, very Merry Christmas.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Christmas Greeting to the Nation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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