A day that will live in world history

At Pearl Harbor there is an exhibit of the events leading up to the Pacific War. Inside is the original draft of the speech FDR gave to congress on the day following Japan’s attack. The document is a fascinating glimpse into the mind of FDR. Several changes you can see include:

Replacing, “a date which will live in world history” with the much stronger “a date which will live in infamy.”

A tentative attacked “without warning” is struck out. There are theories that FDR did have warning.

Also at the exhibit is the full text of a telegram which FDR sent to the Emperor of Japan the day before Pearl Harbor. In it he says that he is willing to cede what is today Vietnam to the Japanese as long as they withdrew the build up of forces in Vietnam which were gearing up to invade the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia (which they eventually did).

There is absolutely no thought on the part of the United States of invading Indo-China if every Japanese soldier or sailor were to be withdrawn therefrom.

I think that we can obtain the same assurance from the Governments of the East Indies, the Governments of Malaya and. the Government of Thailand. I would even undertake to ask for the same assurance on the part of the Government of China. Thus a withdrawal of the Japanese forces from Indo-China would result in the assurance of peace throughout the whole of the South Pacific area.

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