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Today in History: November 7, 1944 – FDR Wins an Unprecedented 4th Term


We all know that FDR is the only president to serve more than 2 terms. And, of course, we also know that the main reason for this was the war over in Europe. Well, on October 7, 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt won his fourth presidential election bid.

We also know that FDR had to defy all odds to win one term in the White House, because he was crippled after contracting polio in 1921 at the age of 29. But being crippled didn’t stop him from presiding over two of the biggest crises in American History: The Great Depression and World War Two. The people clearly had an awful lot of faith in him if they were willing to election him that many times!

Unfortunately, though, by the time the 1944 elections rolled around, America was head over heels in war in Europe and the South Pacific. Even more unfortunate was the fact that President Roosevelt’s health was failing rapidly. “His arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) had been worsened by the stress of serving as a war-time president” (Source). But President Roosevelt did have one thing going for him, at least election-wise: America had just, months earlier, experienced one of the greatest victories in American history – D-Day.

Then, in 1947, under Roosevelt’s successor, Truman, the Congress decided to ensure that no other president could ever serve more than two terms. “In 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution was passed, officially limiting a president’s tenure in office to two terms of four years each” (Source). The amendment is an important one and we should all be grateful that it exists. No matter how great a president may be, eight years of any one administration is probably enough. Then, it’s time for some new blood in the White House.

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