Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October 5, 1937 -- President Roosevelt Delivers "Quarantine" Speech

October 5, 1937 – A new day dawns in the city as the long awaited link between the north and south sections of the city, the bridge over the Chicago River at Lake Shore Drive, is dedicated in front of nearly 10,000 spectators.  The highlight of the ceremony is the appearance of the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, who speaks very few words concerning the bridge.  Instead he uses the opportunity to make a major address concerning the responsibility of the United States in joining like-minded nations in opposing countries that would wage war to achive domination.  “And mark this well,” Roosevelt says, “When an epidemic of physical disease starts to spread, the community approves and joins in a quarantine of the patients in order to protect the health of the community against the spread of the disease.  War is contagion whether it is declared or undeclared.  It can engulf states and people remote from the original scene of hostilities.  Yes, we are determined to keep out of war, yet we cannot insure ourselves against the disastrous effects of war and the dangers of involvement.”  [Chicago Tribune, October 6, 1937]

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