FDR Has A Word Or Two About Education – June 30, 1938 – Past Daily Reference Room
Click on the link here for Audio Player – President Roosevelt Address at National Education Association Rally – June 30, 1938
Lest we all forget (and there are times I think we have), Education has played an overwhelmingly crucial role in the successful life of any country. As part of the New Deal, it was at the forefront of many Social and Economic programs in the 1930s brought about by President Roosevelt.
During his 1938 tour of the U.S. he spoke at the annual meeting of the National Education Association, who held a rally on the under-construction 1939 Worlds Fair site on June 30, 1938.
President Roosevelt: “The only real capital of a nation is its natural resources and its human beings. So long as we take care of and make the most of both of them, we shall survive as a strong nation, a successful nation and a progressive nation- whether or not the bookkeepers say other kinds of budgets are from time to time out of balance.
This capital structure—natural resources and human beings -has to be maintained at all times. The plant has to be kept up and new capital put in year by year to meet increasing needs. If we skimp on that capital, if we exhaust our natural resources and weaken the capacity of our human beings, then we shall go the way of all weak nations.
Before we can think straight as a nation we have to consider, in addition to the old kind, a new kind of government balance sheet—a long-range sheet which shows survival values for our population and for our democratic way of living, balanced against what we have paid for them. Judged by that test—history’s test—I venture to say that the long-range budget of the present Administration of our government has been in the black and not in the red.”
So as a reminder that the need to maintain and advance the cause of education in our country still, to this day, is of vital importance. And that the current state of slashing and undermining budgets for education is doing nothing but to insure a future disaster for the country at large.
Here is that complete address by President Roosevelt, as given at the site of the New York World’s Fair – June 30, 1938.