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An Angry Citizen Urges FDR to Help "Real Americans"

In this letter to President Roosevelt, the writer provides his own definition of a "real American." His frustration regarding inadequate government relief is expressed alongside racist, anti-semitic, and nativist sentiments. The letter is signed "An American of Fifty years."

Queens County
New York City.NY
March 4. 1936.

Hon. F.D. Roosevelt
President. U.S.A.
Dear Sir:

I think you are doing good work in taxing these huge corporations and the ultra rich, but just the same you are going to lose four votes in this family, unless you have your Postmaster Mr. Strong-Arm Farley put some of the relief and hand-out money in the hands of real Americans.

From what we see around here not much of the money goes to those who actually are patriotic and Americans and real good-living people.

Most of it is handed out to...Jews. and a certain class of Irish. Outside of these and [blacks]. a real White-man has very little chance for help.

Please look this situation over, as we are not the only ones who are wide-awake.

Yours sincerely.
An American of Fifty years.
and always will be.

Source | Robert S. McElvaine, ed., Down & Out in the Great Depression: Letters from the "Forgotten Man" (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983), 198.
Creator | Anonymous
Item Type | Diary/Letter
Cite This document | Anonymous, “An Angry Citizen Urges FDR to Help "Real Americans",” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed September 27, 2023,

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