The Four Freedoms Monument was commissioned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt following his articulation of the "Four Freedoms" in his 1941 State of the Union Address. This was yet before the Attack on Pearl Harbor and the participation of the United States in World War II. Roosevelt felt that, through the medium of the arts, a far greater number of people could be inspired to appreciate the concept of the Four Freedoms.
According to Roosevelt, the four fundamental freedoms are:
The statue was created by sculptor Walter Russell later that year, and was dedicated in 1943 before a crowd of 60,000 people at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It was dedicated to Colin P. Kelly, one of the first recognized American heroes of World War II. On June 14, 1944, the monument was re-dedicated in Kelly's hometown of Madison, Florida, with a speech by Governor Spessard Holland. 
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