Study Guide

Four Freedoms Speech Timeline

By President Franklin D. Roosevelt

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November 11th, 1918

End of World War I

After a long, hard, and brutal four years and three months, Germany surrenders to the allies and World War I comes to an end. (Source)

March 23rd, 1919

Rise of Fascism in Italy

Intense nationalism, economic stressors, and anxieties over compromised sovereignty following World War I result in the rise of fascism in Italy under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. (Source)

Germany follows suit shortly thereafter, taking up the mantle of fascism. Soon, Germany is leading the way as most fascist, proving Italians don't always do it better.

March 4th, 1929

Herbert Hoover's Presidential Inauguration

After winning the election, Herbert Hoover becomes president of the United States…and a general disappointment.

October 24th, 28th, and 29th, 1929

Wall Street Crash of 1929

In the United States, the economy goes belly up after a decade of insecure banking practices and epic parties. Following the crash, the country is plunged into the Great Depression, which makes life really hard until the United States enters World War II. (Source)

March 4th, 1933

Franklin D. Roosevelt's Presidential Inauguration (#1)

After dominating the election, FDR becomes the president of the United States and begins what turns out to be a long haul in the Oval Office.


The New Deal(s)

Within his first 100 days, FDR implements a series of programs under his New Deal plan to solve the financial crisis. The New Deal continues to generate employment and stabilize the U.S. economy well into the 1930s.

January 20th, 1937

Franklin D. Roosevelt's Presidential Inauguration (#2)

After winning the election a second time, FDR continues being the president of the United States. (This winning streak continues for a while, just so you know.)

July 7th, 1937

Japanese Invasion of China

Out east, Imperial Japan gets aggro and invades China in a move to take over the continent. This military action marks the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War. (Source)

September 1st, 1939

German Invasion of Poland

Germany goose-steps over into Poland as part of Hitler's Lebensraum campaign. The invasion prompted Britain and France to declare war on Germany. (Source)

May 10th, 1940

German Invasion of France

Germany continues its rush on Europe and invades France, leaving Britain to contend with Germany all by its lonesome. (Source)

September 27th, 1940

Signing of the Tripartite Pact

Germany, Italy, and Japan get together and decide they like each other's work—you know, terrifying the world. Meeting in Berlin, the Italian foreign minister, the Japanese ambassador to Germany, and Adolf Hitler sign the Tripartite Pact to secure their alliance.

January 6th, 1941

State of the Union Address by Franklin D. Roosevelt

Expert orator FDR gives his rousing "Four Freedoms" speech and convinces America to lend a much-needed helping hand to their democratic allies in the fight against tyranny.

January 20th, 1941

Franklin D. Roosevelt's Presidential Inauguration (#3)

After winning the election a third time, FDR is still president of the United States because he just can't get enough.

March 11th, 1941

Lend-Lease Policy Enacted

A few months after FDR's persuasive SOTU speech, the Lend-Lease policy is approved. As the United States begins to prepare for possible war and supply war materials to Great Britain and other allies, neutrality is essentially ended. It was so 1935, anyway. (Source)

December 7th, 1941

Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor

Sneak attack time. The Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service surprise bombs the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, killing more than 2,000 people and damaging many warships. (Source)

December 8th, 1941

United States at War

Following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States declares war on Japan. (Source)

December 11th, 1941

United States at War Some More

Almost simultaneously the rest of the Axis powers declare war on the United States and the United States declares war on the rest of the Axis powers. It's like, "Shut up," "No, you shut up," "No, you"—except with bombs. (Source)

June 6th, 1944


The United States invades Europe, landing on the shores of France. More than just extreme snorkeling, it was the largest amphibious deployment of troops that had ever been attempted, and it marked the beginning of the end for German control over the continent. (Source)

January 20th, 1945

Franklin D. Roosevelt's Presidential Inauguration (#4)

You know the drill.

April 12th, 1945

Franklin D. Roosevelt Dies

After winning the election a fourth time, FDR continues being president for only a short time, dying a few months before the end of World War II.

April 12th, 1945

Harry S. Truman's Presidential Inauguration

Following the death of FDR, Harry S. Truman becomes the president of the United States and guides the country through the end of the war.

May 7th, 1945

Germany Surrenders

Unable to continue, Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies, ending World War II in the West. (Source)

August 6th, 1945

The United States Bombs Hiroshima

After months of secret development, the world's first atomic bomb is dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, causing unimaginable destruction. (Source)

August 9th, 1945

The United States Bombs Nagasaki

Not satisfied with the utter devastation that occurred the first time, the United States again bombs Japan using nuclear weapons. This time the target is Nagasaki. (Source)

September 2nd, 1945

World War II Ends

Crippled by American military aggression, Tokyo petitions for peace, and a formal surrender by the Japanese takes place on the U.S. battleship Missouri. The war is over, and everybody in the United States parties. (Source)

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