A Day of Infamy – US Declares War on Japan

On 8 December 1941 US President Franklin D Roosevelt declared war against the Empire of Japan following their unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

The Japanese had intended for their attack to take place thirty minutes after they planned to notify the United States that they had withdrawn from the ongoing peace negotiations. However, the attack came before any such notification was made and the Japanese took the United States by surprise.

Roosevelt made his announcement to the US Senate with his famous ‘Day of Infamy’ speech. An annotated copy is pictured on the left. The declaration of war that he then signed read as follows:

“JOINT RESOLUTION Declaring that a state of war exists between the Imperial Government of Japan and the Government and the people of the United States and making provisions to prosecute the same.

Whereas the Imperial Government of Japan has committed unprovoked acts of war against the Government and the people of the United States of America:

Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the state of war between the United States and the Imperial Government of Japan which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial Government of Japan; and, to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.”

For more information on military conflict in the Pacific in the first half of the twentieth century take a look at The Rise and Fall of the Japanese Imperial Naval Sir Service by Peter Edwards.

The book is published by Pen and Sword Books (Aviation) and is currently available in hardback, priced at £25.00. The ISBN reference number is 9781848843073. Click here to order your copy.

For more information on British airships and other British aviation heroes and landmarks take a look at Heroes and Landmarks of British Aviation by Richard and Peter Edwards.

The book is published by Pen and Sword Books (Aviation) and is currently available in hardback, priced at £19.99. The ISBN reference number is 9781848846456. Click here to order your copy.

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