Today in World War II History—January 20, 1941
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 by Sarah Sundin
80 Years Ago—Jan. 20, 1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated for his third term.
The US Senate has 28 Republicans, 66 Democrats, 1 Progressive, and 1 Independent; the House of Representatives has 162 Republicans, 267 Democrats, and 6 from smaller parties.
Britain institutes Compulsory Fire Watch duty for men aged 16-60.
Though Roosevelt was given three terms, he certainly did not want to take the United States into war. He claimed that war in other parts of the world was their business. The shock of Pearl Harbor left him no recourse but to take up arms against such a ruthless enemy. Can we not see the hand of God in the decisions that drive men?
By 1941, Roosevelt did want the US in the war, but he didn’t have enough popular support to push for it. Isolationism was huge, with the new America First Committee gaining popularity. After his 3rd inauguration, FDR began campaigning more strongly for involvement, starting with Lend-Lease. He knew the United Kingdom was in dire straits and needed American help. A very interesting book on this tumultuous and divisive time in US History is Lynne Olson’s “These Angry Days.”