As President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt had to lead his country through turbulent times of World War II. When Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Roosevelt realized that Adolf Hitler and his Third Reich represent the greatest threat to liberty and justice the free world had ever seen. To counter that threat, in 1940 Roosevelt ordered the formation of the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR), a deep science agency which would battle Nazi super weapons, even though the United States was still at peace with Germany. To ensure that only the greatest scientists work for the SSR, Roosevelt ordered the SSR's Director, Colonel Chester Phillips, to recruit the industrialist Howard Stark into the agency.
On December 7, 1941, 360 Japanese aircraft attacked the major U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, taking the Americans completely by surprise and claiming the lives of more than 2,300 troops. The attack on Pearl Harbor served to unify American public opinion in favor of entering World War II, and, on December 8, Congress declared war on Japan with only one dissenting vote. Germany and the other Axis Powers promptly declared war on the United States. Roosevelt declared that the United States would build fifty thousand planes to fight the armies of Hirohito and Adolf Hitler. Some time later, Roosevelt personally met Howard Stark, who supported the American war effort by building one hundred thousand planes for the United States Armed Forces.
After the assassination of Abraham Erskine and the loss of the Super Soldier Serum in 1943, Roosevelt ordered the SSR to concentrate its efforts on battling HYDRA, the Nazi special weapons division led by the infamous Johann Schmidt.
- In a rejected scene from Iron Man, Tony Stark says to Christine Everhart that his father, Howard Stark, was commanded by FDR to work on the Manhattan Project and help defeat the Nazis.