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Franklin Delano Roosevelt Declares War December 6 1941 a herculean conflict has engulfed most of the world for years Germanys conquest of Europe and Northern Africa along with Japans invasions of China and Indochina were the fuel for this global maelstrom The United States attempts to remain neutral but the events of the following day will thrust The United States into the epicenter of the storm On December 7 1941 while Japanese diplomats were in Washington DC negotiating Americas neutrality Japan attacked the US fleet at Pearl Harbor President Franklin D Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress on December 8 1941 to solicit a Declaration of War President Roosevelt composes the speech by himself and delivers the speech in The House Chamber of the United States Capital only 23 hours after the attack The content of the speech is a chronological review of the events of the previous day implications of these events and the expression of the desired short-term and long-term consequences of these events President Roosevelt suffered from polio He wore leg bracing and utilized a wheelchair but to present an image of strength he never allowed the public to observe this Krauthammer 2001 During the speech the president scarcely moves his hands from the side of the podium he does not employ hand gestures but rather he may use the podium to stabilize his stance due to the effects of polio The president does not use humor it would have been inappropriate considering the gravity of the speechs subject matter There was no use of visual aids the nature of the venue prevented such aids Except to pause for several instances during the speech for applause the President does not interact with his audience this is a somber moment in the countrys history any interaction with the audience may have diminished the effectiveness of the speech The President wore a conservative suit that was appropriate for the circumstances while giving the
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