December 4, 2001
Drafts of FDR's Day of Infamy Speech on National Archives Website
College Park, MD. . . The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, plunged America into World War II. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's White House became the epicenter of activity with reports of damage and losses trickling in from the Pacific, the President quietly set about preparing the speech he would give to Congress and the American people on the following day. This speech, known as "The Day of Infamy Speech" in which the President asked Congress for a declaration of war is one of the most famous speeches ever delivered by a President. Although he usually had speechwriters help draft his addresses, the President wrote this one almost alone.
The Winter issue of Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration features an article recounting how President Roosevelt crafted his famous speech and how some of its most memorable quotes evolved. Reproductions of the various drafts of the speech show the personal attention of the President.
"FDR's 'Day of Infamy' Speech: Crafting a Call to Arms," can be read now on
Prologue's web site at www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/
winter_2001_crafting_day_of_infamy_speech.html The Winter issue will be out in mid-December.
Prologue can be purchased in the publications shops at the National Archives Building in Washington and the Archives in College Park, MD. A 1-year subscription to Prologue costs $16. To begin your subscription, call 301-837-1800 or 1-800-234-8861, or print out the order form found on the web site at http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/.
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail. Visit the National Archives Home Page on the World Wide Web at http://www.archives.gov.