Fdr date of infamy

Words: 501-600

Skills: Main / Central Idea Summary

Grades: 8th 9th 10th

Topics: History and Political Writings

Genres: Speech

Lexile Range: 1060L - 1290L

Lexile Measure: 1200L

CCSS: History/Social Studies and Reading: Informational Text

Themes:

President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Date of Infamy


by Franklin D. Roosevelt

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s address to Congress after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 is perhaps his most famous speech. Student’s will read the speech and reply to questions about the language, the mood, and the main idea.

Reading Comprehension Passage

President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Date of Infamy

by Franklin D. Roosevelt
In 1941, World War II was raging in Europe, but the U.S. had not entered the war. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese aircraft and naval ships attacked the U.S. military at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Over 2,400 people were killed, and the U.S. lost a large number of ships and aircraft. The next day, President Franklin Roosevelt addressed a Joint Session of Congress which was broadcast to the American people.

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Mr. Vice President, and Mr. Speaker, and Members of the Senate and House of Representatives:

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.

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 Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or 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.

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 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.

Passage Only

Reading Comprehension Questions

1. What does “infamy” mean  in the phrase, “ a date which will live in infamy”?



2. What did the Japanese ambassador do right after the attack?



3. How would you characterize President Roosevelt’s attitude toward the Japanese government based on this speech?



4. What do you think was the purpose of President’s Roosevelt’s speech?