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03 Sep

Official declarations of war must be done by Congress, who have the sole power to declare war and have done so on 11 total occasions since 1812. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives: Yesterday, December 7th, 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.

Because Congress immediately declared war, the United States subsequently entered World War II officially.Japan was also motivated strategically by ideas of creating an Asian co-prosperity sphere—“Asia for Asians”—in which Japan would take over the Asian colonial holdings of Europe and the United States.With the British, French, and Dutch caught up in the war in Europe, the Japanese believed the European powers would be unable to defend their Asian colonial holdings.The facts of yesterday and today 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.The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces.I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost.In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu. Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya. Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area.President Roosevelt delivers the "Day of Infamy" speech to a joint session of Congress on December 8, 1941. This speech was given only a day following the Empire of Japan's strike on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and the Japanese declaration of war on the United States and the British Empire.Behind him are Vice President Henry Wallace (left) and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii shocked almost everyone in the United states military and left Pearl Harbor vulnerable and unprepared.