Literature Study GuidesDay Of Infamy Speech

Day of Infamy Speech | Study Guide

Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Course Hero. "Day of Infamy Speech Study Guide." October 16, 2018. Accessed October 2, 2023.


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Franklin D. Roosevelt

Year Delivered



Primary Source


History, Speech

At a Glance

  • On December 7, 1941, a Japanese attack devastated the American naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The following day, as the American public listened on the radio, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war.
  • The attack on Pearl Harbor prompted the United States to enter World War II, which had begun two years earlier.
  • The Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor opened the Pacific Theater of the war, which ended in 1945 when Japan surrendered after the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • Over 400,000 Americans would lose their lives in the war. However, the war revitalized the American economy, ending the Great Depression and making the United States a dominant world power.
  • Roosevelt's speech created public support for what had been seen as a distant, foreign war. Shocked and outraged, the American people united against a common enemy.
  • Because it states that December 7, 1941, will "live in infamy," the speech has become known as the "Day of Infamy" speech. Infamy is the state of being known for a shocking or evil act. Today, it is one of the most famous speeches in American history.


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