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November 3, 1936

Americans Back FDR for Another Term

News Stories Editorials Advertising Charlottesville: A Safe Haven

Along with virtually every other newspaper across the country on November 4, 1936, The Daily Progress spread the news of FDR's re-election across its front page. Under the banner headline of "Roosevelt Re-Elected In Landslide of Votes," the newspaper featured an Associated Press story on the details of FDR's historic "Landslide" victory. But, noting the importance of the event and how it would affect and concern many areas in the Charlottesville and Albemarle County areas, the main story was accompanied by two stories about high voter turnout in Albemarle County and in Richmond. In "Roosevelt Sweeps Albemarle County For Big Majority," the newspaper addresses how the Democratic FDR received significant support from the high voter turnout in Albemarle County. The story out of Richmond also reported similar results in southern Virginia.

The large number of news stories devoted to FDR's re-election is perfectly comparable to the emphasis placed on the election in national newspapers like The New York Times as it was reported that the president was re-elected with the same large majority in Virginia as in other states across the country.

The editorial pages of The Daily Progress gave significant attention to the victory of the Democratic FDR in Virginia. With an editorial devoted entirely to the re-elected President, however, they did encourage him and celebrate him somewhat, but they also demonstrated serious opposition to what they saw as some of his wasteful and ineffective liberal policies of the New Deal. But the editorial generally supports Roosevelt and encourages him to repair some of the inefficiencies of the New Deal. In this editorial, "To Mr. Roosevelt," on November 4, 1936, the editorialist claims that the "New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt has been overwhelmingly vindicated. What alleged errors its programs may have revealed...have, in the estimation, of the American people, been more than off-set by its benefits." But the editorial goes on to assert that the editors of The Daily Progress will not allow from FDR the same gross expenditures for which they criticized him in his previous term - they serve this warning to him and write, "The tremendous expenditures of public funds which marked Mr. Roosevelt's first term in office were consistently opposed. The Daily Progress has urged greater economy in the government, the abolition of too numerous governmental bureaus, divisions and offices, the erasement of duplication in Federal activities and eradication of outworn and outmoded departments." Ultimately, while the editors of this newspaper have given FDR encouraging support in his re-election, they are warning him against becoming to excessive and exuberant in his New Deal policies. They do not feel that the people of Charlottesville and Albemarle County directly need these things.

During the general public exuberance over the re-election of FDR, the advertising of The Daily Progress incorporated this enthusiasm over the elections into the ads during this time period. Several ads, including a campaign for Amoco Gasoline celebrated the victory of the "American Party" and the principles of democracy on November 5, 1936. Other advertisements for local movie theaters before and after the elections appeared to suggest the wealth of the people of Charlottesville and Albemarle County as the Paramount Movie Theaters advertised, "Why Sit up with nothing to do awaiting the election returns? Spend a delightful evening while waiting: Go to a movie." These aids were aimed at people who had time on their hands and extra money in their pockets, who were looking for leisurely things to do. The campaign supporting the local banks in Charlottesville also continued, aggressively marketing all of the local banks as safe locations to invest one's money.

The general, outward attitude of The Daily Progress towards the re-election of FDR was one of celebration with the rest of the nation. In the news stories about the election and the beginning of the editorial, "To Mr. Roosevelt," this was the primary attitude of optimism and hope for glory. But deeper in the editorial, one can sense a significant suspicion of FDR and his liberal, wasteful policies in the mind's of the editors in Charlottesville. There was a certain tendency to regard FDR's liberal economic and social policies with an eye of suspicion, probably because of the conservatism and general wealth of many of the people and newspaper editors in Charlottesville. In the advertising, however, one can find nothing but excitement and enthusiasm during the time of the elections; this is most certainly meant to instill confidence in the potential buyers in Charlottesville - regardless of their political affiliation. This is all part of the general optimism that the newspaper seems to be showing, although it does this with an undercover suggestion that the people who run it do not always approve of FDR's political policies.

Inside This Edition: Reporting on Key Dates in the Depression

October 29, 1929: Stock Market Crash March 4, 1933: FDR Innaugurated March 5, 1933: FDR declares 'bank holiday' March 9, 1933: Emergency Banking Bill passed May 12, 1933: Federal Emergency Relief Act passed December 5, 1933: Repeal of Prohibition
May 6, 1935: WPA established August 14, 1935 Social Security Act passed November 3, 1936: FDR re-elected February 3, 1937: National Guard prepared to strike workers in Flint, Michigan September 16, 1940: Selective Service Act passed December 7, 1941: Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor


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