January 6, 1941
President Roosevelt delivered his “Four Freedoms” address in his report to Congress on the state of the union. He said, in part:
“In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
“The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.
“The second is the freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.
“The third is freedom from want—which translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.
“The fourth is freedom from fear—which translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.
“That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.” Erik Bruun and Jay Crosby, eds., Our Nation’s Archive: the History of the United States in Documents