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President Roosevelt Seeks Feedback on New Deal Programs

In 1935 President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent this letter to clergymen around the country. He received over 100,000 responses from priests, rabbis, and ministers serving diverse congregations that varied by geography, size, religious views, and socio-economic levels.

Reverend and Dear Sir:

...Because of the grave responsibilities of my office, I am turning to representative Clergymen for counsel and advice--feeling confident that no group can give more accurate or unbiased views. I am particularly anxious that the new Social Security Legislation just enacted, for which we have worked so long, providing for old age pensions, aid for crippled children and unemployment insurance, shall be carried out in keeping with the high purposes with which this program was enacted. It is also vitally important that the Works Program shall be administered to provide employment at useful work, and that our unemployed as well as the nation may derive the greatest possible benefits. I shall deem it a favor if you will write to me about conditions in your community. Tell me where you feel our government can better serve our people. We can solve our many problems, but no one man or single group can do it--we shall have to work together for the common end of better spiritual and material conditions for the American people...

Very sincerely yours,

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The White House Washington

September 24, 1935

Source | Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Letter to Nation's Clergy," 24 September 1935, accessed online from, 18 November 2009.
Creator | Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Item Type | Diary/Letter
Cite This document | Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “President Roosevelt Seeks Feedback on New Deal Programs,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed April 18, 2024,

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