FDR - Neutrality Proclamation

President Roosevelt - signs proclamation signaling neutrality - signals meant to be misconstrued - hard-and-fast rules meant to be broken.

FDR - Neutrality Proclamation
President Roosevelt – signs proclamation signaling neutrality – signals meant to be misconstrued – hard-and-fast rules meant to be broken.

News Bulletins – September 5, 1939 – NBC Red Network – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

September 5, 1939 – news for this day was about neutrality and trying to keep a distance in the face of a newly declared war and uncertainty how long it would go on for and would America become somehow entangled.

With visions of 1918 still fresh in most everyone’s mind, and a growing call for isolation – maintaining neutrality while giving Britain and France much needed help was a very delicate situation. In the coming days and weeks our relations with the Axis powers would become more and more strained, while those voices urging us to stay out were growing louder.

But on this day, it was President Roosevelt who issued Executive Orders maintaining our neutrality and laying out strict rules for enforcing that neutrality. Many felt this was something not possible to achieve in this day and age. Despite the final days of World War 1 being only 21 years earlier, much had changed in the world between then and 1939 – technology was bringing the world closer together; no longer would we hear of an event taking place days or even weeks after it happened, with shortwave we were now made aware of situations almost as they occurred.

First announced was President Roosevelt’s signing of the Proclamation of our Neutrality, effective on this day, shortly after signing. Next was going to be another Executive Order imposing an embargo on anything that could be used to wage war – this included planes, tanks, guns, ammunition – anything that could aid the belligerents. The embargo was expected to take effect immediately after signing.

Here are bulletins regarding those proclamations – a commentary by Earl Godwin and a between-bulletins snippets of some musical programs featuring Erskine Hawkins and The Crackerjacks – all for this September 5, 1939.


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