From the July 12, 1944 Edition of Stars and Stripes

WASHINGTON, JULY 11–President Roosevelt will run for a fourth term, the Associated Press and United Press reported tonight.

He made the long-awaited announcement to his press conference today.

“Reluctantly, but as a good soldier,” he said, “I will accept and serve in this office if I am so ordered by the commander-in-chief of us all–the sovereign people of the U.S.A.”

His decision was disclosed in a letter to Democratic National Chairman Robert Hannegan, in reply to a message from Hannegan that enough delegates were pledged to assure his renomination at the party’s national convention opening in Chicago next Wednesday.

‘No Right to Withdraw’

“If the convention should carry this out and nominate me for the Presidency,” said Mr. Roosevelt in reply, “I shall accept. If the people elect me, I shall serve.

“I would not run in the usual partisan political sense, but if the people command me to continue in this office and this war I have as little right to withdraw as a soldier has to leave his post in the line.”

After his reference to the people as the supreme commander-in-chief, he added:

“For myself, I do not want to run. By next spring I shall have been President and commander-in-chief of the armed forces for 12 years-three times elected by the people of this country under the American constitutional system.

“All that is within me cries out to go back to my home on the Hudson River, to avoid public responsibilities and to avoid the publicity which, in our democracy, follows every step of the nation’s chief executive.”

franklin roosevelt winston churchill

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill aboard HMS Prince of Wales, during the 1941 Atlantic Charter meeting.

For Further Reading Check Out:

No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II

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