It’s a pretty slow news day so far. It’s tough to muster up the strength to care about Ryan Seacrest possibly taking over for Matt Lauer on “Today” or Marg Helgenberger crying during her final day on the set of “CSI” at 8 a.m. So, screw the present; let’s talk about the past, specifically 70 years ago.
Shortly after noon on December 8, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered an address to Congress in Washington D.C., now known as the “Infamy Speech,” which ended with FDR asking that “Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan…a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.” And that’s how “Hogan’s Heroes” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep” became TV shows.
The speech itself is great (THREE. MINUTES. LONG.), but I also love the facts surrounding it, many of which were mentioned during last night’s History Channel special, “Pearl Harbor: 24 Hours After.” My two favorites:
“The day after Pearl Harbor, the Secret Service pressed Al Capone’s confiscated 1928 Cadillac into service to transport President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Congress to deliver his famous ‘infamy speech’ asking for a declaration of war against the Axis Powers.” (Federal Times)
“And the president might have been momentarily high from cocaine administered medicinally for a sinus problem.” (Detroit News)
Video of the speech, from our favorite cocaine-snorting, Al Capone car-driving former President, below.
(The whole thing can be found here, in un-embeddable form.)