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In House of Cards, Frank Underwood brings up FDR and Wilson when saying that he wants to declare war on ICO (fictional terrorist group possibly related to ISIS). What's the relation please? I mean, every president presumably has to deal with terrorism in some way so why those presidents specifically?

closed as off-topic by Alex, justCal, Kobunite, SleepingGod, Tom Au Jun 6 '17 at 21:37

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    Could you specify the quote? Woodrow Wilson and FDR have in common that both led the USA during a World War, so probably its meaning was more in the sense of conflict/war than of, specifically, terrorism. And while there could have been some anarchist terrorist during Wilson mandate, certainly there is no widely known terrorist acts linked to FDRs tenure (or at least I don't know of them). – SJuan76 Jun 6 '17 at 10:05
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    I haven't seen the episode, but Woodrow Wilson was President when the USA entered the First World War and FDR was President when the USA entered the Second World War. Presumably Frank Underwood hopes his declaration of war against ICO will be seen as comparable to their actions. – sempaiscuba Jun 6 '17 at 11:11
  • The "War on Terror" only started in October 2001, long after both FDR and Wilson – SleepingGod Jun 6 '17 at 15:45
  • There was a time when a lone person with a pistol could do a lot of damage (President McKinley, Archduke Franz Ferdinand), and lone bomb-throwers were not uncommon as well. Skimming through my compendium of news articles, it happened more than you'd think. Usually these were chalked up to lone nuts, anarchists or specific separatist groups. However, I think most instances were forgotten, either due to less efficient information and maybe a societal capacity to endure these things. This was an age before modern terrorism, which hinges on modern information systems. – Smith Jun 6 '17 at 19:13
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I haven't seen the episode, but given the context I think I can offer an educated guess.

I don't think that the reference is really to do with how Wilson and FDR had to deal with terrorism at all.

Woodrow Wilson was President when the USA entered the First World War in April 1917 and FDR was President when the USA entered the Second World War in December 1941. Presumably Frank Underwood hopes his declaration of war against ICO will be seen as an historic act, comparable to their actions.

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