Roosevelt expected to warn Axis nations tonight (6-5-44)

The Brooklyn Eagle (June 5, 1944)

Roosevelt expected to warn Axis nations tonight

Will proclaim Rome’s fall in 15-minute broadcast to world

Washington (UP) –
President Roosevelt will proclaim the fall of Rome to the nation and the world tonight in a 15-minute fireside chat expected to warn the Axis satellites, perhaps for the last time, that they must get out of the war now or face the same certain destruction awaiting Germany.

He will speak from 8:30 to 8:45 p.m. EWT. The address will be broadcast by all major networks and shortwaved to Europe and the rest of the world.

A White House announcement, saying simply that the Chief Executive would speak on the fall of Rome, came as members of Congress and other high officials hailed the fall of the first Axis capital to Allied armies aiming at Berlin.

Mr. Roosevelt was expected to express his gratification for preservation of Rome’s historic and religious shrines and to reassure Pope Pius XII that the Allies would observe the sovereignty and sanctity of the Vatican.

Congressional leaders read great significance into the fall of Rome. Senator Joseph C. O’Mahoney (D-WY) said:

It will have a great psychological effect, particularly in the Balkans.

House Republican Leader Joseph W. Martin (R-MA) said America rejoiced “over the confirmation of the capture of the first European objective.”

House Democratic Leader John W. McCormack (D-MA) said the manner in which Rome was captured confirmed his long-standing belief that U.S. forces would do all possible to avoid damaging the ancient shrines of the Eternal City.

Chairman Sol Bloom (D-NY) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee found it “a good omen that Rome should fall on the Lord’s Day.”