chapter  Chapter Three
After Yalta: The Rifts Begin
WithRobert James Maddox
Pages 25

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) reported on the Yalta Conference before a joint session of Congress on March 1, 1945. That day, the New York Times reported that all those who had accompanied him to the Crimea "say he is in great health and never looked better." FDR's attempt to "sell" Yalta had been preceded by a vigorous campaign on the part of James Byrnes. Byrnes had attended the plenary sessions and the formal dinners and had taken part in shaping some agreements, such as the Declaration on Liberated Europe. Byrnes prepared the ground so well that one reporter, in an article entitled "Yalta Legman," wrote that FDR's March 1 speech was significant only "in adding personal touches." Citing FDR's acknowledgment at Yalta that the accord could be "stretched" from there to Washington, some scholars have presented the dispute merely as a matter of differing interpretations.