Monday, December 6, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day: FDR's Speech

Where were you when you heard about Pearl Harbor? Americans who were around in the 1940s have often  asked that question of one another in the same way that other generations have asked  “Where were you when President Kennedy was shot?” or “Where were you on 9/11?”

            On December 8, 1941, the day after the bombing, President Franklin Roosevelt addressed Congress and the nation in a memorable speech that began with these words: “Yesterday, December 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.”

 Although the speech has been the subject of study in other disciplines, I cannot recall its inclusion in Legal Writing pedagogy or scholarship. Wikipedia offers a helpful rhetorical analysis, interesting  background information, and references to other sources. Here is the text of the six and one-half minute speech.


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