Today is the 56th anniversary of the ratification of the 22nd Amendment to the United States Consitution. The 22nd Amendment establishes term limits for the president. After Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death in 1945, the Republican 80th United States Congress wanted to establish a firm constitutional provision barring presidents from being elected more than twice. The rationale was a concern that without limits, the presidential position could become too similar to that of a “benevolent dictator” lasting not just four years but a lifetime. The Congress also expressed a concern that the position could become too powerful and upset the separation of powers.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only president to be elected to more than two terms. He was elected in 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944, with his death on April 12, 1945, cutting short his fourth term.