Day of Infamy Speech

History, On the Road, Traditions, Trivia
on December 8, 2010
David Mudd The typed draft of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Day of infamy speech shows his handwritten edits that include replaces the words world history with the word infamy in the opening line.

“Yesterday, Dec. 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.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered those words as part of a brief and forceful speech to a joint session of Congress one day after the bombing of the Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor.

In the now-famous address, the president was urging Congress to approve a resolution declaring war against Japan. A near-unanimous vote thrust the U.S. into World War II.

But did you know that the first draft of the well-known speech did not include the word infamy? Instead, the original opening line said “a date which will live in world history.”

Roosevelt made the change, along with several other revisions, the morning before he delivered the speech.

The first draft of the speech, with handwritten edits by the president, is one of millions of pages of documents preserved at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.

Built under Roosevelt’s direction as a place to house his historical papers, books and memorabilia, the library set the bar for future presidential libraries.

The Hyde Park, N.Y., library contains 17 million pages of documents, 150,000 audiovisual items and 50,000 books, according to