FDR’s genius for touching the hearts of ordinary men and women, as described by William Leuchtenburg, was not restricted to American citizens. He also commanded tremendous respect in Britain, and British workers, servicemen, and servicewomen during World War II adored their loyal friend “Mr. Roosevelt.”
Early in the war a song went around the British Isles: “Thanks, Mr. Roosevelt —it’s swell of you—the way you’re helping us to carry on.”
In those dark days we always tuned in to the BBC’s “Workers’ Playtime,” a lunchtime variety show which traveled around munitions and armament works. During these performances large audiences of factory girls would sing the “Mr. Roosevelt” song with a brand of affection that has almost been lost on the winds of history.