"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
December 8 , 1941
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.
Our Document List