Franklin D. Roosevelt

Remarks at Utica, N.Y.

October 17, 1936

My friends, I am glad to be back in Utica and Oneida County again. Most of you good people have seen me and I have seen you many times before.

A little while ago, although it was raining in Buffalo this morning and in Rochester a little later on, I looked out of the side window of the car and I saw a rainbow. I think that is a mighty happy omen.

We have had a very wonderful trip through a great many States. Everywhere that we went there was one thing that was different from the year 1932—there are now smiles on the faces of the men and women of America.

There is no question but that things are better in every part of the country. As you know, we have tried to work during these past three and a half years for a well-rounded economy. It has not been just a question of bringing one section of the country back or one State back at the expense of the others. We tried to bring back an economy, a prosperity, that would work all the way down the line, so that we could have a wider distribution of wealth and, with it, a few more good things for the average citizen of the country.

And in addition, we have been thinking not merely in terms of greater prosperity for the moment; we have been trying to look ahead, trying to look ahead toward obtaining a greater security for the men, and the women, and the children who are going to live in this country after us. That has been a very important objective which we have kept constantly before our eyes. I am convinced by personal observation that the people have come to realize more and more, especially in these past three and a half years, the importance of taking an active interest in Government itself and in the problems of Government.

As you know, it was only a few months after I first went to Albany as Governor in 1929 that this country was hit by the worst crash it had ever had in all its history. In those days in Albany, without any help from Washington, we started some of the things that we have transferred to Washington since I went there. We started old-age pensions in this State. We took care of needy unemployed in this State. With the help of the farmers and the farm leaders themselves we began, for the first time, a farm program in this State.

We still have to go a long way in all of these programs. In other words, we cannot keep just the same old Model T that we used to have ten years ago.

And since I have been down in Washington you have had in Albany a Government which has had to face great problems; but, under the leadership of Governor Lehman, you have had the same kind of forward-looking liberal Government, trying to take care of the great majority of the people, that we have been trying to maintain in Washington.

My friends, I am mighty glad to come back into my own home State. It is a pretty fine State to live in.

I am quite confident, from all that I have seen and from the great crowds that have come down to meet us, as to what the people of the State of New York are going to say about their two Governments in Albany and in Washington on Tuesday, November third.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Remarks at Utica, N.Y. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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