The Four Freedoms
FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND EXPRESSION
FREEDOM OF WORSHIP
FREEDOM FROM WANT
FREEDOM FROM FEAR
…..…. everywhere in the world.
Annual Address to Congress, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, January 6, 1941.
In his essay on the Four Freedoms, published in Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms by Stuart Murray and James McCabe in 1993, William J. Vanden Heuvel states that the words and concepts of the Four Freedoms were distinctly personal to President Roosevelt. He wrote the phrases himself, he spoke them deliberately and simply to explain to the American people that their history of isolation was over, that the United States had no choice but to commit its enormous power to defeat the Fascist dictators. Franklin Roosevelt wanted not only his countrymen but every nation in the world to understand that the Four Freedoms justified the battle, made worthy the sacrifice, made essential the victory.
In April 1945 the Four Freedoms were included in the Charter of the United Nations. Following the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, his wife Eleanor, continued to fight for them as chairperson of the United Nations Committee for Human Rights. Largely thanks to her determination, the Four Freedoms were included in the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was officially accepted by the UN on December 10, 1948.
More information on Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the famous Four Freedoms passage in FDR's speech to Congress on January 6, 1941 and William J. Vanden Heuvel's essay on the Four Freedoms are listed below.
The full text of FDR's speech is available under "Speeches".
“Freedom of Worship,” Norman Rockwell, 1943
Oil on canvas, 46” x 35 1/2”
Story illustration for “The Saturday Evening Post,” February 27, 1943
Norman Rockwell Museum Collections
©SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN