Since the very first reports hit the news wires, the tragedy of Sept. 11 has been compared to other great national tragedies, but perhaps none so much as the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In the days following the attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously asked Congress for a declaration of war in one of the most stirring speeches ever recorded. Now students can listen to the actual speech in RealAudio and read about how it came about on the “History and Politics Out Loud” web site. The site’s authors note that in his book, “Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History,” William Safire says that the first draft of Roosevelt’s opening line read, “…a date which will live in world history, the United States was simultaneously and deliberately attacked.” Roosevelt substituted the much stronger but less familiar “infamy” in place of “world history” and used “suddenly” to replace “simultaneously.” History and Politics Out Loud is a searchable archive of politically significant audio materials for students and teachers. In addition to Roosevelt’s “infamy” speech, students can hear the actual words of other great figures in history, from John F. Kennedy, to Winston Churchill, to Nikita Khrushchev, to Martin Luther King, Jr. The site allows users to browse speeches by date, by speaker, or by speech title.

About the Author:

eSchool News