The New Deal Speaks

This section features speeches, interviews and talks by the Living New Deal team, the original New Dealers, and about the New Deal. It provides links to films, videos, tapes and digital audio on our YouTube Channel and elsewhere across the world wide web.

Economic Bill of Rights
Excerpted from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944 in which he challenged Congress to adopt what is sometimes referred to as the “Second Bill of Rights.”

“It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people — whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth — is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights — among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however — as our industrial economy expanded — these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all — regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

  • The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
  • The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
  • The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
  • The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
  • The right of every family to a decent home;
  • The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
  • The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
  • The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.”

The Four Freedoms, Franklin Roosevelt
Two minute clip of Paramount newsreel footage of President Roosevelt’s 1941 Annual Message to Congress (Film ID 201-823-3-1) synced with audio from the Roosevelt Library Audio Recordings Collection . Film copyrighted by Sherman Grinberg Film Library.

President Roosevelt Dedicates NIH (NARA, 1940)

A six minute video of the speech given by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the dedication of the Bethesda, Maryland campus of the National Institute of Health on October 31, 1940.

Living New Deal Webinar: “The New Deal and Right Wing Extremism: Saving the Republic

A discussion with Kevin Baker on the lessons of right wing extremism in the 1930s. Moderated by Jeff Gold.

Stephen Pyne and Gray Brechin in conversation, hosted by the David Rumsey Map Center on Friday, February 26, 2021

Gray Brechin founder of the Living New Deal and environmental historian and fire expert Stephen Pyne talk about the California fires and the Ponderosa Way.

KPFA – Letters and Politics: The New Deal – A Modern History

Guest: Michael Hiltzik is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author who has covered business, technology, and public policy for the Los Angeles Times for three decades. He currently serves as the Times’s business columnist and hosts its business blog, The Economy Hub.

Saving Paradise and the Ponderosa Way Firebreak, with Gray Brechin and Stephen Pyne — 2-28-21

Gray Brechin founder of the Living New Deal and environmental historian and fire expert Stephen Pyne talk about California fire prevention, forest preservation and the potential of the Ponderosa Way.

Art and Activism: Posters for Social Change

Living New Deal Webinar Series

From the Green New Deal to the Living New Deal

Living New Deal Board Member Jason Scott Smith quoted on American Radio Works in a segment about the New Deal

Listen to the program here.

Living New Deal Board Member Jason Scott Smith Gave a Lecture on the New Deal at the The History News Network

See the lecture here.

S4 E6: A New Deal

March 17, 2020

Eric Rauchway interviewed for Scene on Radio. Segment reported and produced by John Biewen, with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Eric Rauchway and Cybelle Fox. The series editor is Loretta Williams. Listen to the interview here.

How Trump’s Rosy Plans Could Take Us Over a Cliff

Eric Rauchway quoted in GQ about America’s descent into the Great Depression. Photo Illustration by Keir Novesky, Getty Images.

Lessons for a Depression: A conversation with historian Eric Rauchway

Joe Waters interviews Eric Rauchway for Capitalsocial on the Great Depression, the New Deal, and democracy in crisis.

Richard Walker and Gray Brechin Interviewed on KLAW – “What Should A 21st Century Post-Pandemic New Deal Look Like?”

Rose Aguilar spoke with Living New Deal’s Gray Brechin and Richard Walker for the May 14 edition of Your Call on KALW. Walker and Brechin reflect on the state of the country and the unfolding crisis and argue it’s time for a New New Deal.

Listen to the interview here.

Richard Walker Interviewed on KPFA – “The Global Economy, Climate Change, and Covid 19”

Living New Deal Director Richard Walker was interviewed on KPFA on April 22 for a segment on Against the Grain. Titled “The Global Economy, Climate Change, and Covid 19,” the segment was a conversation about the COVID-19 pandemic, the unfolding economic crisis, and the need for a new New Deal. Listen to the segment here.

Richard Walker Interviewed on KZYX Radio

On March 10, RichardWalker was interviewed on KZYX on “Mind, Body and Health.” You can listen to the interview here.

Professor Eric Rauchway, Living New Deal Board Member, Interviewed on National Public Radio

Eric Rauchway, UC Davis Professor of History and Living New Deal Board Member, spoke about the New Deal with Kara Miller of Innovation Hub, National Public Radio. Rauchway examined how the Roosevelt Administration’s reforms changed Americans’ lives and restored faith in government. Listen to the program here.

In a recent Living New Deal Newsletter post, Living New Deal Founder, Gray Brechin, reviewed Eric Rauchway’s latest book, Winter War: Hoover, Roosevelt, and the First Clash Over the New Deal. 

On Oct 30, Richard Walker Talked about the “New Deal To Green New Deal” at the Commonwealth Club SF

The Green New Deal has raised hopes for a major push to address climate change and social injustice. Is it just pie in the sky? Not at all. The original New Deal of the 1930s brought a revolution in conservation and public health, worker rights and wages, income and regional equality, and public investment for the common good—all during the worst depression in history. A Green New Deal is possible because we have done it before. Learn more about this initiative.

Gray Brechin on Radio Eco Shock Podcast

Venice, San Francisco, Climate-wrecking

October 30, 2019, by Radio Ecoshock

Listen to the podcast here.

“Think of the great cities about to be lost as seas rise on a warming planet. That is Venice, and our guests Gray Brechin and Luca Muscara take us there, to the battleground between human history and climate change. But we go further into the killing role of great cities and lessons for our future from the New Deal. I’m Alex Smith. Let’s explore time and place on Radio Ecoshock.”

“A New Deal for New York City: Looking Back, Looking Forwarad,” May 7, The Center for Architecture, NYC

On May 7, 2019, the Living New Deal NYC Chapter hosted a talk about the legacy of the New Deal in New York.

Watch the video of the event here.

Keynote speaker—historian, journalist, novelist, and political commentator Kevin Baker was joined by a panel of commentators that includes:

  • Gray Brechin, founder of the Living New Deal.
  • Marta Gutman, architectural and urban historian, professor at the City College of New York’s Spitzer School of Architecture and CUNY Graduate Center, and an expert on New Deal-era public works in the city.
  • Steven Attewell, author of People Must Live by Work: Direct Job Creation in America, from FDR to Reagan, who teaches public policy at CUNY’s School for Labor and Urban Studies.
  • Phoebe Roosevelt, a great-granddaughter of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, offered welcoming remarks.

Eric Rauchway Interviewed on KPFA

Eric Rauchway, Living New Deal Research Board member, was Interviewed on KPFA’s Letters and Politics on July 9, 2019. In “The First Clash Over the New Deal,” Rauchwaytalks about the emergence of the New Deal as well as how its legislative legacy influenced the modern progressive movement. Listen to the interview here.

The New Deal and Race

Living New Deal Director, Richard Walker, interviewed by A Correction Podcast.

Who is San Francisco Built For?

Pieces of a model of the city built in 1938 are on display at branch libraries across the city. Locals are gathering to have conversations about how the city is changing, and for whom.

What the original New Deal can teach the Green New Deal

Living New Deal Director, Richard Walker, interviewed by KPFA’s Doug Henwood on “Behind the News.”

“The Ideas Behind the Green New Deal,” LND Leadership Talk on KPFA

Living New Deal Director, Richard Walker and Founder, Gray Brechin interviewed by Mitch Jezerich, the host of KPFA’s “Letters and Politics.”

Podcast: Jerry Kay’s Journal
Interview with Living New Deal’s own Harvey Smith

Anton Refregier’s New Deal Murals
Living New Deal founder Gray Brechin introduces this clip. Anton Refregier recalls the heady days of public art and artists during the New Deal.

New Deal-related film, “Defending Utopia: The Greenbelt News Review at 80”

“In 1937, Roosevelt’s New Deal planners launched an extraordinary housing experiment in the Washington, D.C. suburbs.
Greenbelt, Maryland was the most controversial of three suburban “green towns” designed to ease Depression-era housing shortages – though critics called the towns a socialistic waste of taxpayer dollars whose non-profit cooperatives threatened American capitalism.
But since 1937, a volunteer-run weekly newspaper has defended a city Eleanor Roosevelt called “the first garden community in the land, planned for the uplift and unfolding of the human spirit.” And in a 1970 libel case, the Greenbelt News Review fought to protect the press freedoms so critical to American democracy.
“Defending Utopia: The Greenbelt News Review at 80″ is about a courageous home town newspaper and the battles it fought on behalf of its idealistic residents.”

Defending Utopia: The Greenbelt News Review at 80 from Susan Gervasi on Vimeo.

Interview with Linn Forrest, the architect who led the CCC totem restoration project in Southeast Alaska

Town Hall
Senator Sanders joins experts and environmental activists to discuss solutions for how we can combat climate change and protect the planet.

In collaboration with the Frances Perkins Center and the National New Deal Preservation Association the Living New Deal hosted “Women and the Spirit of the New Deal,” on October 5 and 6, at the University of California, Berkeley. The gathering filled a significant gap in understanding about the New Deal—the crucial role of women in guiding its programs. “Women and the Spirit of the New Deal” featured a number of leading writers, scholars, and activists.

Visit our Films and Videos resource section where you can watch films created by the New Deal, links to films about the New Deal, our monthly Fireside Films selection, and Bibliographies and Resources.

New Deal Map — Washington, DC


Check out our new map and guide to the work of the New Deal in Washington, D.C. It includes 500 New Deal sites in the District alone, highlighting 34 notable sites, and includes an inset map of the area around the National Mall which can be used for self-guided walking tours.