[Ads-l] FDR "Fear" Quote

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 15 13:18:28 EDT 2020


The citation below might qualify as an interesting precursor to FDR's
statement appearing within an advertisement. This instance is a bit
closer than the remarks form the cross-referenced luminaries.

Date: March 4, 1926
Newspaper: Simpson County News
Newspaper Location: Mendenhall, Mississippi
Article: Advertisement for State Guaranty Bank
Quote Page 4, Column 1
Database: Newspapers.com

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/57388956/fearitself/

[Begin excerpt]
Don't Make the Mistake
. . .
OF FEARING ANYTHING--THE ONLY THING TO FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF.
[End excerpt]

Garson

On Sat, Aug 15, 2020 at 7:28 AM Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
>
> I received a fascinating email yesterday from a 91-year-old woman who said that Franklin Roosevelt's speechwriter Raymond Moley had told her in 1963 that the famous FDR quotation "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" came from a newspaper ad from the S. Klein department store on 14th street in Manhattan.  I did some searching in Newspapers.com, ProQuest, and Fulton Search but was unable to find the advertisement in question.
>
> However, I did discover a clear "antedating" of the quote in ProQuest.  In an article in the Christian Science Monitor, June 15, 1931, page 2, Thomas A. Mullen, director of publicity for the city of Boston, was quoted as follows:
>
> "Mr. Mullen said that a year ago Mayor Curley pointed to the single thing which will turn the tide of the much advertised economic depression, and that was the abolition of the element of fear.  'I believe the only thing we need to fear is fear itself,' Mr. Mullen said."
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> In the Yale Book of Quotations, I pointed out pre-FDR similar formulations by Francis Bacon, Montaigne, the Duke of Wellington, and Thoreau, but the Mullen quote is virtually
> identical to Roosevelt's line (the only difference was that Mullen used the word "need" instead of "have").
>
> Fred Shapiro
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> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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