In the first episode of this two-part series on FDR, we explored the man, his times, and the unusual circumstances surrounding the 1944 Democratic Convention. We discussed FDR’s legendary poker face, his deteriorating health, the fact that his doctor warned him that he couldn’t survive a fourth term, and his dream to create the United Nations; an organization he hoped would make future world wars impossible. We also discussed the Democratic Party bosses’ successful effort to remove Henry Wallace as Vice President from the ticket in 1944.  But as we said earlier, big questions remained. Could the Allies secure a long-lasting peace in the postwar world? Could the United States work with the Soviet Union? Would the United Nations work? Could FDR achieve his vision despite his failing health? We will explore the answers to these questions on this episode of This American President.

Conference of the Big Three at Yalta makes final plans for the defeat of Germany. Here the “Big Three” sit on the patio together, Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Premier Josef Stalin. February 1945. (Army)

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