Our Documents:
Declaration of War

"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."

Our Documents: Joint Address to Congress Leading to a Declaration of War Against Japan
December 8 , 1941

Photograph of FDR signing the Declaration 			  of War on Japan.On December 8, 1941, the day after Japanese forces attacked the American military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Franklin Roosevelt addressed Congress and asked for a Declaration of War with Japan. The Senate and House of Representatives approved the war declaration unanimously with the exception of one vote - Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin became the first member of Congress to vote "no" on both the declaration of war on Germany during World War I and the declaration of war on Japan in 1941 - and FDR signed the resolution that day.

Franklin Roosevelt gave one of his most famous speeches to Congress on December 8, 1941 when he asked Congress to declare war on Japan. After the first draft of the speech was written, FDR made handwritten changes and used that text as his final speech. Compare the first page of FDR's original draft and handwritten corrections to his final speech.

bullet Declaration of War, December 8 , 1941

Original Draft (Image): Page 1 , Page 2 , Page 3


Audio (2.5 MB, Real Audio )

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