Franklin D. Roosevelt's Pearl Harbor speech

This study guide will help you analyze Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Pearl Harbor” speech. In addition to help with your analysis, you can find a summary of the text and ideas for putting it into perspective

Presentation of the text

Title: “Pearl Harbor” (1941)

Sender: Franklin D. Roosevelt

Genre: Speech

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) was the 32nd president of the United States. Roosevelt won four presidential elections and served from 1933 until he died in 1945. Roosevelt’s “Pearl Harbor” speech, which is also known as the “Day of Infamy” speech, was delivered one day after the Empire of Japan’s attack on American military bases at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on the 7th of December,1941. 


Here, you can read an extract from our study guide: 

Audience and medium

Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers his speech on December 8, 1941, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The speech was broadcast live by radio so that all Americans could hear the president’s message. Therefore, Roosevelt’s American audience was so large that it set a record in US radio history. 

In his speech, Roosevelt targets all Americans and acknowledges the attitude that America has towards the Empire of Japan: “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”. Despite the tragic event at Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt delivers a message of hope: “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”.

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Franklin D. Roosevelt's Pearl Harbor speech

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