The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt, speech at Oglethorpe University, May 22, 1932
Roosevelt was now president-elect. But Herbert Hoover was still president and would remain so for four months. The ratification of the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution in February 1933 moved the start of the presidential term to January 20 of the year following election, but the amendment would take effect only in 1937. Roosevelt's inaugural thus fell under the old rules and would not take place until March 4.1
History, meanwhile, refused to mark time to the antiquated cadences of the American electoral system. In the agonizing interval between Roosevelt's election in November 1932 and his inauguration in March 1933, the American banking system shut down completely. The global economy slid even deeper into the trough of the Depression. The world also became a markedly more dangerous place. Adolf Hitler was installed as chancellor of Germany, after massive unemployment had seeded despair into millions of German households and after months of bloody clashes between Communist and Nazi gangs had left scores of people dead in the streets of German cities. Japan, hell-bent on the____________________