Presidential Edits

In class we have been talking a lot about edits and rewrites.  In light of that it is interesting to see the edits that President Roosevelt made to his “Day of Infamy” speech which was delivered to the Joint Session of Congress on December 8, 1941.  The Infamy Speech page of Wikipedia has a full analysis of the edits and the reasons behind them.  The National Archives Day of Infamy has the other two pages with edits.   The edited text of this first page reads:

Yesterday, December 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 its government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And, while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of 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 full text and video the speech can be found on The Day of Infamy page of American Rhetoric site. 

Featured image: Creative Commons: