Saturday, August 3, 2019
Migrating: The Machine in the Garden :: Four Freedoms Roosevelt Essays
Migrating: The Machine in the Garden On January 6, 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed Congress with a speech outlining the four freedoms that every American should have. In context, one must realize that this was before World War II - before the attack on Pearl Harbor that would occur in December of that year. His speech said that as Americans, we each should expect to have by right - freedom of speech; freedom to worship God in any way we choose; freedom from want - that is, the necessities of life such as food and shelter; and freedom from fear. The speech so moved artist Norman Rockwell that he went on to paint his famous series known as the "Four Freedoms." Rockwell's paintings would later be used to help in the war effort by advertising the sale of war bonds. The rhetoric of the day made Americans feel a responsibility to his or her country. When war broke, Americans were eager to help. Many left the comfort of their parents' homes to fight in the war effort. They left with the images of Rockwell and words of FDR fresh in their minds. In 1945, nine million American servicemen and women came home from war. No longer were they children - living in their parents' home - but young men and women eager to build their lives. Between 1946 and 1964 over seventy-six million baby boomers were born. There was a tremendous need for housing. People such as William Levitt understood that need. In 1947, he broke ground on the first of three towns he would build. He bought one thousand acres of potato farms on New York's Long Island and started building. Eventually he built 17,000 affordable homes in what became known as Levittown, New York. "The Rancher - A New House in Levittown - Special Introductory Price - $8,990 - $57 a month! No cash required from veterans!" Photo borrowed from Levittown, 2002. Levittown was the beginning of the mass migration to the suburbs, however, the idea dates to the 1930's with Roosevelt's "New Deal in the Suburbs" (Christensen, 1986, p. 72). The Greenbelt Program was designed to develop urban areas into garden cities. Not only would this model program show that a city could develop urban planning to incorporate ideals and alleviate housing problems of the day, but would translate into much needed jobs.