Composition

Franklin D. Roosevelt begins his “Pearl Harbor” speech by addressing members of Congress: “Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and the House of Representatives”. He acknowledges his audience, for whom he presents the situation at Pearl Harbor and the measures that need to be taken against the Empire of Japan. Roosevelt’s speech is, therefore, meant to offer arguments why the US Congress should declare war on the Empire of Japan as soon as possible. 

Roosevelt’s “Pearl Harbor” speech is also known as the “Day of Infamy” speech, an expression which derives from Roosevelt’s first sentence: “a date which will live in infamy”. While the speech was initially intended to be longer, Roosevelt decided to keep it short and more impactful. The briefness of t...

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