Franklin Roosevelt wanted to pull Americans out of poverty—without congressional interference.

In 1938, FDR Tried to Purge Congress … for the Good of the Country

In 1938, FDR Tried to Purge Congress … for the Good of the Country

Bite-sized stories from presidential campaign history.
Nov. 1 2017 6:02 PM

FDR’s Purge

In 1938, Roosevelt went toe-to-toe with Congress in order to get his way.


This episode of Whistlestop travels back to June 24, 1938, to a fireside chat with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as he prepared to purge the congressional leadership in order to push his agenda.

Whistlestop is Slate’s podcast about presidential history. Hosted by Political Gabfest panelist John Dickerson, each installment will revisit memorable moments from America’s presidential carnival.


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Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank. Research by Brian Rosenwald.

John Dickerson is a co-anchor of CBS This Morning, co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest, host of the Whistlestop podcast, and author of Whistlestop and On Her Trail.