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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Radio microphone used by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933Radio microphone used by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933

The first president to regularly address the nation over the airwaves, President Roosevelt held his first "fireside chat" in March 1933 to explain why the banks were closing. Through his radio talks, Roosevelt developed an intimate, reassuring rapport with the American people that helped build confidence in his leadership during the Great Depression. In 1964 the Smithsonian acquired this microphone from CBS Radio as part of its efforts to document political uses of the mass media.

See also: Presidential Memorabilia

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