Father Charles Coughlin opposes Roosevelt

Father Charles E. Coughlin was a Catholic priest who reached a large audience through mass rallies and radio broadcasts. Coughlin, openly antisemitic, was an outspoken critic of the political establishment. This footage shows him addressing more than 80,000 people, the Illinois members of the National Union for Social Justice, at Riverview Park in Chicago. He criticized President Roosevelt (running for a second term as President of the United States) and attacked the government's fiscal policy in the aftermath of the Depression. Coughlin also offered to support any candidate opposed to Communists and Capitalists alike.


There is written in the Constitution of the United States that Congress has the right to coin, issue, and regulate the value of money. That's good Americanism and it's good enough for me. Every politician today, in the Democratic or Republican ranks, who sits upon one of the thrones of the mighty, doesn't believe in that part of the Constitution. They don't want to believe in that part of the Constitution. They believe that the Federal Reserve Bank has the right to coin and regulate the value of money. They're not even Americans, these so-called Democrats and Republicans. And so Mr. Roosevelt, who was very loquacious in 1933 about driving the money changers out of the temple, is now bent upon another policy. I think driving the workmen out of decent annual wages. As I come before you today, I wish to leave this thought with you. That at each Congressional district here in Illinois we will endorse a candidate who can rise above his party and puts patriotism first. He may be a Democrat or a Republican or whatnot. But we're through with the sham battle of politicians and now we're on our own. Therefore under your Congressional district presidents, form your battalions, take up the shield of your defense, unsheathe the sword of your truth, and carry on in Illinois so that the Communists on the one hand cannot scourge us and that the modern Capitalists on the other cannot plague us.


  • UCLA Film and Television Archive

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