National Geographic : 1966 Jan
By FRANK FREIDEL Professor of History, Harvard University rodPrni~e r HE PRESIDENTS of the middle decades of the 20th century bore perhaps the heaviest respon Ssibility in the history of the office: to guard the peace in a turbulent world while assuring the well being of all the Nation's citizens. Much was demanded of these Chief Executives, from Franklin D. Roosevelt through Lyndon B. Johnson, and each labored long and hard to meet his obligations. Their primary task was to maintain stability and prosperity, acting with Congress to throw the weight of the Federal Government into the economic balance as needed. Franklin D. Roosevelt's first goal was to pull the Nation out of a disastrous depression and to halt plummeting deflation. Each of his successors worked to prevent recessions from turning into de pressions, and, during two decades of unprecedented prosperity, to restrain inflation. With the outbreak of World War II, President Roosevelt assumed another major responsibility-to *Earlier installments appeared in the November, 1964, GEO GRAPHIC (Washington through John Quincy Adams); January, 1965 (Jackson through Buchanan); May, 1965 (Lincoln through McKin ley); and October, 1965 (Theodore Roosevelt through Hoover). UNITED STATESAIR FORCE as President Dwight D. Eisenhower de scribed the nuclear devices, can serve man kind. In 1953, he proposed the Atoms for Peace program to the United Nations. KODACHROMEBY THOMASJ. ABERCROMBIE(I N.G .S . Taming the atom revolutionized scientific endeavor in fields as varied as medicine and ship propulsion. Metal fingers in a shielded chamber hold a uranium sample for analysis.