Infamy Speech

December 8, 1941 speech by FDR on the bombing of Pearl Harbor
Roosevelt delivers the speech to Congress. Behind him are Vice President Henry A. Wallace (left) and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn. To the right, in uniform in front of Rayburn, is Roosevelt's son James, who escorted his father to the Capitol.

The Infamy Speech was a speech given by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a Joint Session of the US Congress on December 8, 1941, one day after the Empire of Japan's attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the Japanese declaration of war on the United States and the British Empire.[1][2][3][4][5] The name comes from the first line of the speech "a date which will live in infamy." The speech is also commonly referred to as the "Pearl Harbor Speech".


  1. Presidential Materials, September 11: Bearing Witness to History, Smithsonian Institution (2002) ("Printed copy of the Presidential address to Congress Reminiscent of Franklin D. Roosevelt's address to Congress after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor")
  2. Address by the President of the United States, December 8, 1941, in Declarations of a State of War with Japan and Germany, Senate Document No. 148 (77th Congress, 1st Session), at p. 7, reprinted at the University of Virginia School of Law project page, Peter DeHaven Sharp, ed.
  3. See Senate Document No. 148 (77th Congress, 1st Session), in Congressional Serial Set (1942)
  4. William S. Dietrich, In the shadow of the rising sun: the political roots of American economic decline (1991), p. xii.
  5. Franklin Odo, ed., The Columbia documentary history of the Asian American experience, p. 77.