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The Roosevelt Rap

The Roosevelt Rap is a rythmic audio-visual timeline of the major events in the life of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Through fast-paced music played against a backdrop of historical images, students are introduced to over fifty facts and events that defined the Roosevelt era. Rap lyrics were written by Jeffrey Urbin, Education Specialist at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and the music was recorded by Robert Ferrin.

TeachersTeachers, please Contact the Education Specialist to obtain curriculum materials related to the Roosevelt Rap including copies of two dozen primary source documents and teaching ideas and activities.


Watch, or Listen, or Read Along

Find us on YouTube! The FDR Library has a YouTube channel featuring the Roosevelt Rap and historical film footage from the Archive's audio-visual collections. In conjunction with the Pare Lorentz Center , we add content to the channel regularly. Explore our footage and leave us your comments! 

Audio Download: Click on the music notes below to download the audio version of the Roosevelt Rap (3.07MB RealPlayer file) Lyrics Download: Click the image below to download the lyrics (68KB PDF document)
Music Notes Download the Roosevelt Rap Lyrics

Roosevelt Rap Questions

The following are 52 questions that are raised in the Roosevelt Rap. They are designed to be used to test how well the students have been paying attention to the rap. The questions can also be used as jumping off points for class discussions, as topics for homework or term paper assignments, or as prompting questions to accompany the primary source documents that have been provided.  

Students, use your knowledge about Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as the information found in the Roosevelt Rap, to answer the following questions:

1) When was Franklin D. Roosevelt born?

2) Who were FDR's parents?

3) What were some of FDR's hobbies?

4) Where did FDR go to school?

5) When were FDR and Eleanor married?

6) Who gave away Eleanor at the wedding? What was his relation to Eleanor?

7) What was the first elected position in which FDR served? In what year was he elected?

8) Why was it unusual for a Democrat to get elected in Dutchess County?

9) Why was FDR's support of Woodrow Wilson's 1912 Presidential campaign so important?

10) What were some of FDR's accomplishments and policies while he was serving as Assistant Secretary of the Navy?

11) How did FDR's experiences as Assistant Secretary of the Navy prove valuable as he faced preparations for World War II?

12) Why did FDR return to politics in 1920?

13) What was the result of the 1920 election?

14) When did FDR contract polio?

15) How did Eleanor Roosevelt keep FDR's name in circulation while he was recuperating from the polio attack?

16) Who was Al Smith? What role did Smith play in FDR's political career?

17) When was FDR elected Governor of New York State?

18) What is meant by the statement "Hoover seemed insensitive"?

19) Who said "[Relief] Recovery is just around the corner'?

20) What were the results of the 1932 election?

21) How was FDR able to connect with the common man/woman?

22) Why was FDR not able to act as President until March of 1933?

23) What were some of the programs FDR passed during his first one-hundred days in office?

24) How well have other Presidents performed in their first one-hundred days?

25) What was Prohibition? How was FDR associated with the program?

26) What is meant by the term "alphabet soup"?

27) Explain the New Deal programs mentioned in the rap: AAA, CCC, NRA, NLRB, BOB, FDIC, TVA, NRC and WPA? What did these programs do and were they effective?

28) What were the objections Republicans raised to the New Deal programs?

29) What was SSI?

30) In the rap, "G.W." advises "avoid entangling alliances." Who is "G.W." and what is meant by his statement?

31) What was the view of most Americans regarding involvement in the war in the Europe?

32) What were FDR's views regarding the war in Europe?

33) What was the "Appeasement of Munich?"

34) How does the saying "give them an inch and they take a mile" relate to the events of World War II?

35) What does "England was clinging but just by its toes" mean?

36) How was FDR able to save England with a garden hose?

37) What is meant by the "day of infamy"?

38) Who were the "Rosies"? What tasks did they perform?

39) Describe some of the activities performed by people on the home front during World War II?

40) Who were Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini?

41) Who were the Axis Powers?

42) Who were "The Big Three"?

43)Who were the Allied Powers?

44) When did World War II end in Europe?

45) When did World War II end in Asia?

46) Who was Fala?

47) When did FDR die?

48) Who was with FDR when he passed away?

49) What was FDR's vision for the United Nations?

50) What did Eleanor Roosevelt do to carry on FDR's vision for a world organization?

51) Where are FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt buried?

52) What does the name "Roosevelt" mean?

Teachers: For answers to these questions please Contact the Education Specialist.