Presidents who "Saw The "train a-coming" & did something.

  • My best example is, Franklin Roosevelt, who by Executive Order, started the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in 1933, to put young men back to work during the "Great Depression." Enrollment in the CCC peaked in August 1935. At the time, more than 500,000 corpsmen were spread across 2,900 camps. It’s estimated that nearly three million men – about five percent of the total United States male population – took part in the CCC over the course of the agency’s nine-year history. The camps were all run by the U.S. Army & organized like military units. The CCC achieved building a huge amount of infrastructure in the western U.S. between then, & when the organization was disbanded after the U.S. entered WWII

    Of course, in 1933, Adolf Hitler & Nazi Germany were something that only the most astute politician might worry about. Once Hitler was appointed German chancellor on January 30, 1933, he started covertly building up Germany's military forces, and attacking minorities, including Jews, in Germany.

    The strong isolationist sentiment in the US, a carryover from our involvement in WWI, was widely felt when Congress passed the Neutrality Acts of 1935 and 1936. These restrictive pieces of legislation called for an embargo on weaponry and funding to any nation involved in a conflict.

    Soon after, Congress passed a second round of legislation known as the Neutrality Acts of 1937, which established an embargo on all trade to nations at war, except those who were able to pay cash and carry the products away on non-American vessels. This legislation allowed for Hitler to begin acquiring land via force throughout Europe, as well as Japan establishing control in the Pacific.

    To his credit, Roosevelt was a masterful tactician and was able to cautiously circumvent Congressional attempts at isolationism. In 1937, Roosevelt called for an international quarantine on nations that were sparking conflict throughout the world. Simultaneously, he began petitioning Congress for a reappraisal of the neutrality legislation. He finally achieved success in 1939 when Congress removed the ban on selling arms to those at war. The new legislation established a 'cash-and-carry' provision to those who could purchase arms with cash and carry them away on non-American vessels. This was extremely beneficial to Britain and France, considering they were a short distance from the United States.

    And, by the time the U.S. entered WWII, Roosevelt's 3 million CCC camp graduates, were fit & trained in basic military procedure. They formed much of the new core of the U.S. Army in WWII.

  • I am not sure what Dwight Eisenhower saw coming that had him fired up to push for funding of the Interstate Highway System, but what a far-sighted move.

  • @David-Harris Thank you. I thought of that foresight too, from a President, who deserves respect.

  • Another of F D Roosevelt's achievements -- against a fair amount of opposition -- was the go-ahead for the high version of the Grand Coulee dam.

    Again, I don't know what he saw coming that made him get that project going, but there are a number of military historians who believe that had the hydroelectric power from that dam not been available (to smelt the aluminum necessary to build airplanes) the second world war might have turned out differently.

    One of you Americans may be able to correct me, but I believe he went behind Congress' back to get the project underway. And, of course, illegal or not, once underway, there was no stopping it.

Log in to reply