It came to be known as his “Four Freedoms Speech.”

On Jan. 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a state of the union address that highlighted the four freedoms of healthy democracy — freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

It was an impassioned plea to help Great Britain in its war with Nazi Germany and ramp up war-related industries here at home. By the end of the year, Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States had entered World War II.

Today, we profile four Mainers who embody the Four Freedoms and remind us not to take them for granted as we celebrate our nation’s independence.


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