December 1, 1998
Documents and Teaching Activities Related to Franklin D. Roosevelt's War Address Now Available Online from the National Archives
Washington, DC. . . The National Archives and Records Administration announces a new digital classroom project on its website. "A Date Which Will Live in Infamy" presents the first typed draft of Franklin D. Roosevelt's war address, links to later copies of the speech, and an audio clip of the speech as it was delivered. It also offers suggestions for teaching activities that are correlated to the National Standards for History and the National Standards for Civics and Government. The URL is http://www.archives.gov/digital_classroom/lessons/day_of_infamy/day_of_infamy.html.
Early in the afternoon of December 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his chief foreign policy aide, Harry Hopkins, were interrupted by a telephone call from Secretary of War Henry Stimson and told that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. At about 5:00 p.m., following meetings with his military advisers, the President calmly and decisively dictated to his secretary, Grace Tully, a request to Congress for a declaration of war. President Roosevelt then revised the typed draft—marking it up, updating military information, and selecting alternative wordings that strengthened the tone of the speech. On December 8, at 12:30 p.m., Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress and the Nation via radio. The Senate responded with a unanimous vote in support of war; only Montana pacifist Jeanette Rankin dissented in the House. At 4:00 p.m. that same afternoon, President Roosevelt signed the declaration of war.
"A Date Which Will Live in Infamy" is the latest in a series of digital classroom exercises that the National Archives and Records Administration has produced for teachers and students on the website. Other subjects covered on the education website include exercises on Watergate and the Civil War. For a full listing, visit http://www.archives.gov/digital_classroom/teaching_with_documents.html
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.