Section One

Zoomify requires Flash Player 9; if unable to zoom into image, download the latest Flash Player
July 1938: "Says the Sphinx"
Newspaper Enterprise Association

Herblock’s cartoon points to two enigmas: President Franklin Roosevelt’s decision to run for a third term and the unresolved schism in the Democratic Party between New Dealers and conservatives. Beginning with George Washington, the two-term limit was a hallowed tradition in American presidential politics. Speculation concerning a third term for FDR became widespread in July 1938, with the announcement that the president was building a library for his papers.

Roosevelt, however, would not disclose his intentions, sensing, in the words of his postmaster general, James Farley, that it would be “the worst tactics imaginable” for Roosevelt to say anything about a third term. Roosevelt actually had no desire to step away from the office he so thoroughly enjoyed. Although he would serve a third and fourth term, the Twenty-second Amendment, passed after his death, ensured that the two-term tradition would not be broken again.