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December 7th, 1941: A Day that Will

Live in Infamy
The Plan

What is the strategic importance of Pearl Harbor? Why do the Japanese feel the need
to attack it?



American Readiness
Opana Point Radar Site:

Storage of Munitions and Planes:

While watching the film, answer the
following questions.

1. At what time did the attack


2. What seems to be the target of

emphasis for the Japanese?

3. At what time did the Japanese ambassadors deliver the declaration of

war to Cordell Hull? How does that help explain his reaction?

4. What does Yamamoto

mean by “we have
awakened a sleeping
giant?” Is the attack a
military and tactical
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation
delivered on December 8, 1941

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of 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
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
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

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our
defense. But 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.
Isolation No More?
In a previous lesson we discussed America's isolationist origins; from the
statements of former Presidents to treaties signed by our leaders, America has
overwhelming favored withdrawing herself from confrontations around the
world for much of her existence.

The first woman ever elected to Congress, Jeanette Rankin, had already gained
infamy for voting against American involvement in World War I. She was re-
elected to Congress many years later (running on a ticket of neutrality), and
once again faced the decision of whether to vote for or against FDR's declaration
of war against Japan. Uttering the words, "As a woman I can't go to war, and I
refuse to send anyone else", Congresswoman Rankin became the only person to
vote against war. American neutrality was at an end.

In a short editorial, defend or refute Jeanette Rankin's actions. Your answer

should include the following:
• Is she a patriot, standing up for what she believes, even at the risk of
ridicule? Or is she selfish, ignoring the grave threats that face America?
Give reasons one way or the other.
• Does being “patriotic” mean that you always support your country no
matter what? Is it ever patriotic to dissent?
• Is war a part of the human existence, or is it something that can be

This editorial is worth 10 points, and will be due _______________.