FDR's New Deal Timeline
How It All Went Down
FDR Pledges New Deal
Franklin D. Roosevelt wins the Democratic Party's nomination for the presidency, prevailing on the fourth ballot at the Democratic Convention in Chicago. In a break with precedent, Roosevelt travels to Chicago to accept the nomination in person. "I pledge you, I pledge myself," Roosevelt declares, "to a new deal for the American people."
Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats Herbert Hoover in a landslide to win the presidency. Hoover wins only six states as FDR steamrolls to victory with more than 57% of the popular vote and 89% of the electoral vote.
“Only Thing to Fear is Fear Itself”
Franklin D. Roosevelt calls Congress into special session, sending up as his first piece of proposed legislation a bill to stabilize the country's failing banking system. Congress passes the bill that very day.
Congress passes Franklin D. Roosevelt's economy bill, slashing government spending by cutting $500 million in scheduled payments to veterans and federal employees.
First Fireside Chat
Franklin D. Roosevelt conducts his first "Fireside Chat," going on the radio to communicate directly with the American people. Roosevelt reassures the country that its banks are now safe for business.
Confidence in Banks Restored
Franklin D. Roosevelt lifts the nationwide bank holiday he imposed one week earlier. Customers, buoyed by FDR's confidence in the banking system, deposit more money than they withdraw, ending the country's banking crisis.
At Franklin D. Roosevelt's request, Congress ends Prohibition, legalizing the sale of beer with an alcohol content of up to 3.2%. While a few old-line "dry" Senators attempt to filibuster the bill, House members invade the Senate chamber, chanting "Vote! Vote! We want beer!"
Civilian Conservation Corps
Congress creates the Civilian Conservation Corps, which will put 250,000 young unemployed men to work in reforestation and development of the National Parks and Forests.
Gold Standard Ends
The United States goes off the gold standard, allowing inflationary forces to begin to lift the economy.
Federal Emergency Relief Act
Congress passes the Federal Emergency Relief Act, distributing hundreds of millions of dollars to the states for dispersal to the one-fourth of the national workforce unable to obtain jobs.
Agricultural Adjustment Act
Franklin D. Roosevelt signs into law the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which seeks to alleviate rural misery by reducing farm output and raising prices.
Tennessee Valley Authority
Congress creates the Tennessee Valley Authority to build dams and provide cheap public power, irrigation, and fertilizer while promoting economic development in the impoverished Tennessee River Valley.
Federal Securities Act
Congress passes the Federal Securities Act, for the first time committing the federal government to the regulation of Wall Street.
National Industrial Recovery Act
Congress passes the National Industrial Recovery Act, the signature piece of legislation of the First New Deal, which Roosevelt hopes will lift the industrial economy out of Depression.
Banking Act of 1933
Congress passes the Banking Act of 1933, which establishes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which virtually ends bank failures in America.
Hundred Days Congress Adjourns
The Hundred Days Congress adjourns from its special session, having passed all fifteen bills requested by President Roosevelt.
The Twenty-First Amendment takes full effect, ending Prohibition not only on beer and wine—legalized in March—but also on hard liquor.
National Labor Relations Board Created
Federal Housing Administration Created
Congress creates the Federal Housing Administration to insure loans for construction and repairs of homes.
Emergency Relief Appropriations Act
Congress passes the Emergency Relief Appropriations Act, which allocates $5 billion for work relief projects administered through the new Works Progress Administration, which will ultimately employ more than eight million Americans.
Rural Electrification Administration Established
Franklin D. Roosevelt establishes the Rural Electrification Administration to extend power to the vast majority of American farms that still lack electricity.
National Industrial Recovery Act Ruled Unconstitutional
Collective Bargaining Established
Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Wagner National Labor Relations Act, which re-establishes the right to collective bargaining that had been thrown out by the Supreme Court along with the rest of the NRA in the Shechter decision.
Social Security Act
Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act, the signature piece of legislation of the entire New Deal era, which permanently changes the relationship between the American people, their government, and the free market.
Congress passes Franklin D. Roosevelt's "wealth tax," a largely symbolic measure that raises the top tax rate to 79%. Still, more than 95% of American families pay no income tax at all.
Agricultural Act Ruled Unconstitutional
Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected to a second term as president, winning in a landslide over Republican Alf Landon. Roosevelt wins every state but Maine and Vermont.
Roosevelt Inaugurated to Second Term
Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated into his second term in the White House, promising further reform to improve conditions for "one third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished."
Frustrated with the Supreme Court's rejection of much of his program, Franklin D. Roosevelt proposes new legislation allowing him to expand the court to fifteen members, which would allow him to install as many as six friendly justices to overrule the existing conservative majority.
West Coast Hotel v. Parrish
In West Coast Hotel v. Parrish, the Supreme Court upholds a Washington state minimum-wage law. Conservative justice Owen Roberts, who previously sided with the anti-New Deal bloc on the court, votes with the majority, creating a new pro-New Deal majority and ensuring that government interventions into the economy will no longer be overturned as unconstitutional.
Supreme Court Upholds National Labor Relations Act
The Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the National Labor Relations Act.
Supreme Court Upholds Social Security Act
The Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the Social Security Act.