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President Franklin D. Roosevelt's message to Congress 
following Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor:

To the Congress of the United States:

Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - 
the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately
attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. 

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the
solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with the
government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance
of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced
bombing in Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States
and his colleagues delivered to the Secretary of State a formal
reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated
that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic
negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack. 

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes
it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days
or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese
government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States
by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. 

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe
damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American
lives have been lost.  In addition, American ships have been
reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack
against Malaya. 

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. 

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam. 

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. 

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island. 

This morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island. 

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending
throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for
themselves. 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. 

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that
all measures be taken for our defense. 

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. 

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. 

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when
I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost,
but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never
endanger us again. 

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that that our people,
our territory and our interests are in grave danger. 

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding
determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - 
so help us God. 

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and
dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, Dec. 7, a state of war has
existed between the United States and the Japanese empire. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt 

The White House

Dec. 8, 1941

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