FDR’s “Day Of Infamy” Speech: The First Draft

I found this photograph of what is apparently the first draft, with revisions, of President Roosevelt’s December 8 1941 speech to Congress, from the Pearl Harbor Museum, to be quite interesting:

No word on who made the editorial remarks.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. CSK says:

    According to the FDR Presidential Library at Marist College, which has the original, Roosevelt himself made the emendations.

    The substitution of the word “infamy” for “world history” gave the speech its power.

  2. Brummagem Joe says:

    I understood FDR made them and if you look at the simplifications of the language this seems entirely credible. He may have sounded like a upper class Harvard man but FDR was one hell of a speaker. Listen to some of his speeches and fireside chats and they still pass muster today particularly when you compare with the much more histrionic and strained styles of his contemporaries like Long, Al Smith, Landon and others.