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Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Somebody who could give a speech with conviction

Editor’s Notebook: Somebody who could give a speech with conviction

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Today marks the 81st anniversary not of the Pearl Harbor attack itself (although it technically was Dec. 8, 1941, Tokyo time, when it took place), but does mark the 81st anniversary of Franklin Roosevelt’s “a date which will live in infamy” speech requesting a declaration of war from Congress.

As a quick aside, many years back I was visiting an FDR exhibit at the Library of Congress, and there on the wall was the original typescript of the speech Roosevelt was set to deliver to Congress. The original phrasing — “a date which will live in world history” — was scratched out (clearly by Roosevelt himself) and “which will live in infamy” was added in his very bold penmanship. If you’ve got a penchant for history, that’ll send a chill up your spine, every time.

Anyway, the speech is one of the greats of all time both for what he said and how he said it. I will attach a recording down below. It’s worth watching to see a president in full command of the situation despite the chaos of the preceding 24 hours, and making it very clear how this war was going to end — and do it all in a mere 8 minutes, beginning to end.

How that compares to the speechmaking abilities and proclivities of our last few presidents, I’ll let you decide.


TUNE IN TOMORROW: Want to know what kindly Uncle Scotty felt about some of the performances at last night’s Arlington County Democratic Committee candidate kickoffs? I’ll defer until tomorrow and bring it to you then.

As I may or may not have said to my prom date: “I can get this done fast or I can get this done right — your choice.” Then as now, taking the time to get it right is preferable.

WORLD CUPPERY: Ask sports czar Dave Facinoli if you desire proof: After the U.S. got knocked out of the World Cup, I transferred my allegiance to Morocco — and they immediately proceeded to knock off much-favored Spain to move up!

Only been to Morocco once, and didn’t get to see all of it. Did get to visit Casablanca (a big city), the capital of Rabat (a nice gem) and Tangier (whoa, a weird and not altogether unscary place). Next time: Fez, Marrakech and the like will be on the itinerary.

I’m not a soccer fan nor have I spent any time in front of the TV for the World Cup, but should Morocco advance further, I will tune in to cheer on my adopted squad.

— Scott McCaffrey

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