Saturday, April 6, 2013

A-Z Challenge: F is For Four Freedoms

F is for the Four Freedoms

There aren't many specific lessons that I remember from school.  Sure I can read, write, and do basic math so I must have learned something, but there are very few learning experiences that made it into long-term memory.  I do, however, distinctly remember learning about FDR and the Four Freedoms.  I don't remember the teacher, but the class was in one of those portable classrooms that was set up and then never moved, at George K. Porter Junior High School.   

"We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression--everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way-- everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want . . . everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear . . . anywhere in the world."
--President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Message to Congress, January 6, 1941
I think this lesson was the first time the concept of universal human rights made an impact on me.  It was the early 60's and the civil rights rights movement was raging.  We had to make a poster that illustrated each of the freedoms.  I remember cutting out pictures from Life iconic photo of a drinking fountain with a sign that said "whites only."  Which freedom did that illustrate?  As I think about it now I'm not sure. Freedom from fear? I do know that this lesson stuck with me and reinforced a belief that there are basic human rights for everyone, male-female, black-white, gay-straight, American or not. 

What a wonderful world we would have if the four freedoms really were universal.


  1. Well said, Nana. I too think we need to remember the Four Freedoms and apply them not only to our own lives, but those around us, and around the world. Thanks for joining the challenge. I am enjoying your missives very much! :-)

  2. So true ... do you think we've made any progress?

  3. Sadly, my universal human right isn’t your universal human right.
    I am sure it was said before FDR and will be said a long time after we’ve gone, but will it ever come true?

  4. I think the four freedoms need to be brought back into daylight and introduced to everyone again, and on a regular basis.

  5. I love that you remembered this particular lesson. I'd never heard of this before because we didn't really study FDR in school so it was nice to read about the thought of human rights. A great thing to remember all the time! Thanks for sharing this.


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