While I suspect everyone over the age of 10 has heard FDR's "a date that will live in infamy" quote, here's the entire speech. Like the Gettysburg Address, short and not to be lost in history.
Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives:
Yesterday, December 7th, 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.
The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.
Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And, while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.
It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.
Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island.
And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.
Japan has therefore undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.
As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense, that always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.
No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.
I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.
With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God.
I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt - December 8, 1941
Pete unfortunatly I would bet there are alot of younger people out there that were never taught about it or Korea, Vietnam. I had a young lady ask me questions about the the world in the late 60's and early 70"s. They had heard little or nothing about Nam. It is a sorry world we live in when they don't teach things about wars that this country fought but were not popular. I was discharged in Nov 72 and was told not to wear my uniform home because people were calling us names and spitting on us as we walked through airports.
Any way here is to the brave souls living and dead from Dec 7,1941. God bless you. I cannot begin to understand what it must have been like.
As a child born in 1934,I was growing up during the WW 2 war period.When I had money to go to the movies, 10cents,the war news was always on film. German prisoners worked at a plant 200 yards from our house. They waited for the bus to take them back to Camp Perry under a shade tree in our front yard. There was 1 guard for 10-12 prisoners. They were very friendly and played ball with us children. When war news came on our house radio,they got on our porch to listen. This was towards the end of the war and there was a man shortage in Germany. Some of the prisoners were in there 50's and 60's. they were not a threat to escape as they were well fed and treated well. This was not the case in Germany and Japan. My hobby was building model airplanes. I could identify all of the war time planes. We sold milk weed pods, scrap iron,greece,rubber etc. recycled for war products. Most esential items were rationed. Gasoline,shoes,tires etc. My parents drove the 1937 Chevy only when neccessary. All people were in the same boat and we knew no difference. This was a fun time for children. When I could earn a quarter, it would cover a movie ticket,popcorn and something to drink. Good old days?
The first thing I did this morning was to lower my flag to half staff.
One of the contractors I am currently working for told me his father was on the Oklahoma when the Japs attacked. He said his father told him that they had been playing cards against some of the sailors from the Arizona the night before.