“I can assure you that it is safer to keep your money in a reopened bank than under the mattress.”
– President Franklin Roosevelt in his first Fireside Chat, March 12, 1933
Signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 9, 1933, the legislation was aimed at restoring public confidence in the nation’s financial system after a weeklong bank holiday.
Immediately after his inauguration in March 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt set out to rebuild confidence in the nation’s banking system. At the time, the Great Depression was crippling the US economy. Many people were withdrawing their money from banks and keeping it at home. In response, the new president called a special session of Congress the day after the inauguration and declared a four-day banking holiday that shut down the banking system, including the Federal Reserve. This action was followed a few days later by the passage of the Emergency Banking Act, which was intended to restore Americans’ confidence in banks when they reopened.