From the Museum

The Washington Star published this political cartoon by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Clifford Berryman on October 31, 1934. The parade of jack-o-lanterns asking, “FDR, how long will the cash hold out?” refers to expenditures by President Roosevelt’s New Deal “alphabet agencies.” These agencies, often referred to by their acronyms, were created to reform the nation’s financial system, stimulate job and business growth, and provide material assistance to Americans enduring the Great Depression. By the fall of 1934, they included the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Public Works Administration (PWA) and the National Recovery Administration (NRA). Several examples of the NRA’s distinctive eagle symbol hover over the parade of jack-o-lanterns.

Berryman presented this original cartoon to FDR’s Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr. (who appears next to FDR in the cartoon). The Morgenthau family later gave the cartoon the Roosevelt Library.