TIME conflict

How TIME Covered the ‘Date Which Will Live in Infamy’

Franklin D. Roosevelt
President Franklin D. Roosevelt (wearing black armband) signing declaration of war as others look on, following Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor Thomas D. McAvoy—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty

It was on Dec. 8, 1941, that the U.S. declared war on Japan

President Franklin Roosevelt’s words to Congress at what would be the start of the U.S.’s entry into World War II turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy: “”Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy…”

On that date, the U.S. had been attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor — and on this date, Dec. 8, the U.S. declared war. The news came, as TIME noted in the next issue of the magazine, “after 22 years and 25 days of peace.”

Here’s what TIME had to say about FDR’s speech:

When he said: “Always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us,” the room roared with a cry of vengeance. “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion,” continued the President, “the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.” At this, the biggest cheers of the day. “We will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us. . . . We will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God. I ask that the Congress declare . . . a state of war. . . .” The President left the House. Members began roaring impatiently: “Vote! Vote! Vote!” The Speaker gaveled for order. The Senate left.

The President had arrived at 12:12 p.m. At 1 p.m. exactly the Senate passed the declaration of war, 82-to-0. (There were 13 absentees, Washington-bound by train and plane, and one vacancy.)

The House, listening with marked impatience to get-right speeches by the G.O.P.’s Leader Joe Martin and Ham Fish, received with a whoop the identical Senate bill, adopted it as a substitute. The vote: 388-to-1.

Read the full article here, in the TIME Vault: National Ordeal

TIME Military

Survivors Gather to Remember Pearl Harbor Attack

Remembrance Ceremony Held To Mark 73rd Anniversary Of Attack On Pearl Harbor
U.S.S. Arizona survivor Louis Conter salutes the remembrance wall of the U.S.S. Arizona during a memorial service for the 73rd anniversary of the attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl harbor on Dec. 07, 2014 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Kent Nishimura—Getty Images

For many of the roughly 2,000 survivors who remain, there are still painful memories

(PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii) — Many of the veterans who survived the Pearl Harbor attack that launched the United States into World War II attended Sunday’s 73rd anniversary ceremony with the help of canes, wheelchairs and motorized scooters.

Wearing purple orchid lei, about 100 Pearl Harbor and World War II survivors attended the ceremony overlooking a memorial that sits atop sunken battleship USS Arizona. Many of them arrived well before the sun came up.

This year’s anniversary is the 10th consecutive one that USS Utah survivor Gilbert Meyer attended. But it’s getting harder for Meyer, 91, to travel to Hawaii from San Antonio.

Asked if he planned to attend next year’s anniversary, he responded with a chuckle, “That’s like asking me if I’ll still be alive.”

Harold Johnson, 90, is making it a goal to attend the 75th anniversary, even though traveling from Oak Harbor, Washington, isn’t always easy. “I’ve got a little scooter that’s a real life saver,” the USS Oklahoma survivor said.

Johnson had been aboard the Oklahoma for just six months on Dec. 7, 1941, looking forward to a day off and a “date with a little Hawaiian girl.” He was shining his shoes when the first alarm went off, he recalled.

“Three months later I ran into her in town in Honolulu,” he said of his date. “She was mad at me because I stood her up.”

For many of the roughly 2,000 survivors who remain, there are also more painful memories.

Keynote speaker Gen. Lori Robinson, commander of Pacific Air Forces, told the crowd of several thousand about four of the nine remaining survivors of the USS Arizona. Don Stratton, 92, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Lauren Bruner, 94, of La Mirada, California, were two of six men who escaped the inferno that engulfed the forward half of the ship by negotiating a line, hand over hand, about 45 feet in the air, despite burns to more than 60 percent of their bodies. John Anderson, 97, of Roswell, New Mexico, was ordered off the ship, but he didn’t want to leave behind his twin brother, Delbert. Even though he was forced into a small boat that took him to Ford Island, he commandeered an empty boat and returned to the Arizona to rescue three shipmates. But he never found his brother.

“When the Arizona sank, she took with her 1,177 sailors and Marines,” Robinson told the crowd, which included Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Hawaii Gov. David Ige.

Robinson also highlighted the sacrifices of the Honolulu Fire Department, which was dispatched to respond after receiving the alarm at 8:05 a.m. “Without knowing it, the Honolulu Fire Department was going to war,” she said. “Three firefighters would never return, and six others would be seriously injured.”

The ceremony also featured a Japanese peace prayer, a Hawaiian blessing and a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., the minute the bombing began. F-22s from the Hawaii Air National Guard 199th Fighter Squadron and Air Force 19th Fighter Squadron conducted a flyover.

Later in the afternoon, the four USS Arizona survivors planned to visit the memorial for a toast to their fallen shipmates with a glass of sparkling wine given to their survivors association by President Gerald Ford, using glasses that are replicas of the ones on the ship. After the toast, divers would place one of the glasses at the base of the Arizona’s gun turret four. It’s where ashes of 38 Arizona survivors are interred.

This year’s anniversary will likely be the last one Ervin Brody, 91, of Houston attends. “Expenses are getting up there and we’re retired,” he said. “A lot of us figure this will be the last.”

TIME conflict

This Vintage Map Shows What Happened After Pearl Harbor

A look at the first issue of TIME published after the World War II attack


On a desktop, roll over to zoom. On mobile, click.

The Dec. 15, 1941, issue of TIME must have gone to press just a day or two after the Dec. 7 attack on Pearl Harbor, and the task facing those who had to write about the event was, in some ways, the same task facing the rest of the nation: figuring out how to understand what had happened. “In every part of the U.S. the terse, inadequate words gave outward and visible signs of the unfinished emotions within,” as TIME put it.

The issue goes on to describe President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech of Dec. 8, 1941, about that “date which will live in infamy,” and the details of what had happened in Hawaii. But it also looks at what happened in the days after the attack. The map above will remind modern readers that while Pearl Harbor was the target we remember, it was not alone. Locations throughout the South Pacific were involved in the events of early December 1941 — and, as TIME’s editors couldn’t have yet known, those of the weeks and months and years to follow.

Read the full issue here, in the TIME Vault: Dec. 15, 1941

Photos from LIFE: After Pearl Harbor

TIME human behavior

New Google Doodle Honors Renowned Psychoanalyst Anna Freud

Anna Freud Ergy Landau/Photo Researchers—Getty Images/Photo Researchers

Freud, the youngest child of "father of psychoanalysis" Sigmund Freud, pioneered the field of child psychology

Google’s latest Doodle celebrates the 119th anniversary of the birth of Anna Freud, whom TIME once referred to as “that pioneering lady of psychoanalysis.”

She was the youngest child of Sigmund Freud, the modern day architect of psychoanalysis, and the only one of his six children to follow in his footsteps.

Born in Vienna in 1895, Freud’s tryst with psychology began at the early age of 13, when she would take part in her father’s weekly discussions on psychoanalytic ideas.

She went on to become one of the founders of the field of child psychoanalysis, having been drawn to it when she taught at an elementary school in the early 1900s.

The Freud family fled Austria during the Nazi occupation in 1938 out of fear of persecution, and emigrated to London where Anna established the Hampstead War Nurseries for children rendered homeless during World War II. She applied her training and knowledge to the children at the institution, which was renamed the Hampstead Child Therapy Course and Clinic after being granted charity status in 1952.

Following her death in 1982, it was renamed the Anna Freud Centre and continues to be one of the major global institutions for the mental health of young children.

TIME World War II

Swiss Museum to Accept German Collector’s ‘Nazi Art’ Trove

File picture showing the facade of the Kunsmuseum Bern art museum in Bern
The facade of the Kunsmuseum Bern art museum is seen in the Swiss capital of Bern, on May 7, 2014. Arnd Wiegmann—Reuters

The museum will work with German officials to return pieces looted by the Nazis from Jewish owners

BERLIN — A Swiss museum agreed on Monday to accept a priceless collection of long-hidden art bequeathed to it by German collector Cornelius Gurlitt, but said it will work with German officials to ensure any pieces looted by the Nazis from Jewish owners are returned.

German authorities in 2012 seized 1,280 pieces from Gurlitt’s apartment while investigating a tax case, including works by Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall. Gurlitt died in May, designating Switzerland’s Kunstmuseum Bern as his sole heir.

The museum’s president, Christoph Schaeublin, told reporters in Berlin that the Kunstmuseum Bern had decided to accept the collection after long, difficult deliberations.

“The ultimate aim was to clarify how the Kunstmuseum Bern could meet the responsibilities imposed upon them by the bequest,” Schaeublin said.

Shortly before he died, Gurlitt reached a deal with the German government to check whether hundreds of the works were looted from Jewish owners by the Nazis. Authorities have said that deal is binding on any heirs, and Schaeublin said the museum would undertake extensive research to determine the provenance of the works.

According to an agreement the museum worked out with German authorities, a task force set up by the government will also continue to investigate the background of the art to determine if it was looted, and whom it was looted from.

If no owner can be found for a looted piece, the agreement calls for the work to be exhibited in Germany with an explanation of its origins so the “rightful owners will have the opportunity to submit their claims.”

German officials said all works will remain in Germany until the task force finishes its work. An update on the research is expected “in the course of 2015.”

One of Gurlitt’s cousins has also filed claim, which a Munich court said Monday would have to be sorted out before the collection goes anywhere.

TIME photography

The Best of LIFE: 37 Years in Pictures

A selection of photos from LIFE magazine's storied archives: a photo a year from four decades of unparalleled excellence

Over several decades spanning the heart of the 20th century, one American magazine ― calling itself, plainly and boldly, LIFE ― published many of the most memorable photographs ever made. Driven by the certainty that the art of photojournalism could tell stories and move people in ways that traditional reporting simply could not, LIFE pursued a grand vision, articulated by the magazine’s co-founder, Henry Luce, that not only acknowledged the primacy of the picture, but enshrined it.

“To see life,” Luce wrote in a now-famous 1936 mission statement, delineating both his new venture’s workmanlike method and its lofty aims. “To see the world; to eyewitness great events . . . to see and be amazed.”

The roster of talent associated with Luce’s audacious publishing gamble is, in a word, staggering: W. Eugene Smith, Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Carl Mydans, Andreas Feininger, John Loengard, Gordon Parks, John Dominis, Hansel Mieth, Grey Villet, David Douglas Duncan, Bill Ray, Paul Schutzer, Ralph Morse, Michael Rougier, Eliot Elisofon, Nina Leen, Larry Burrows, Gjon Mili and dozens of other groundbreaking photojournalists not only shot for LIFE, but were on staff at the magazine.

“In the course of a week,” Luce noted in 1936, “the U.S. citizen sees many pictures. He may see travel pictures in travel magazines, art pictures in art digests, cinema pictures in cinemagazines, scientific pictures in scientific journals. But nowhere can he see the cream of all the world’s pictures brought together for him to enjoy and study in one sitting.”

The cream of all the world’s pictures. A nervy assertion ― but an assertion repeatedly affirmed by LIFE’s tireless, innovative photographers and the work they produced, issue by issue, week after week, year upon year. World war and peaceful revolutions; Hollywood icons and history-shaping villains; the Space Race and civil rights; Ernest Hemingway’s novel, The Old Man and the Sea published ― in its entirety ― in one issue, and a breathless cover story on a now-long-forgotten Hollywood ingénue in the next: however momentous the event, however legendary, notorious or simply of-the-moment the person, LIFE was there.

Today, those breathtaking pictures live here, on LIFE.com. Resurrected through trailblazing photo essays, lighthearted features, and previously unpublished photographs of the century’s leading figures and most pivotal, meaningful moments, Henry Luce’s vision (to see life, to eyewitness great events, to see and be amazed) remains as relevant and thrilling today as it was 75 years ago.

This gallery ― featuring one picture a year from 1936, when the magazine premiered, to 1972, when LIFE ceased publishing as a weekly ― serves as an introduction to, and a celebration of, the treasures of a storied archive: a tightly focused glimpse into the breadth and excellence of one publication’s iconic photography.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME movies

See Why Benedict Cumberbatch Is So Photogenic

Behind the scenes of TIME's latest cover shoot with Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch’s face doesn’t have a good side or a bad side — he’s very symmetrical, says photographer Dan Winters, who shot him for this week’s TIME cover.

“I’m not as concerned as I would normally have to be about where I’m positioning him, where I’m lighting from,” says Winters. “A lot of actors are pretty asymmetrical, and you have to work around that.”

In the cover image, Cumberbatch is seated behind a table, framed by both real and recreated World War II items: a rare vintage Enigma machine, a bomb wheel made by Winters, and more. The setup was meant to capture Cumberbatch as an actor with a nod to his upcoming film, The Imitation Game, says Winters.

“He showed up with a cool and modern retro version of what he wore in the film — something, he told me, he thought Turing would have worn if alive today,” Winters told TIME LightBox. “He had done his work and we used that in the shoot.”

The resulting mood of the photo was “quiet, a little pensive, sort of contemplative.” And yes, Cumberbatch looks great in it.

Click here to read more about the shoot.

Read next: Go Behind TIME’s Benedict Cumberbatch Cover With Photographer Dan Winters

TIME World War II

Battle of the Bulge: Rare Photos From Hitler’s Last Gamble

Photos -- many of which never ran in LIFE magazine -- from the final, failed German offensive on the Western Front in World War II.

From mid-December 1944 through the end of January 1945, in the heavily forested Ardennes Mountains of Belgium, thousands of American, British, Canadian, Belgian and French forces struggled to turn back the final major German offensive of World War II. While Allied forces ultimately triumphed, it was an absolutely vicious six weeks of fighting, with tens of thousands dead on both sides. Today, the conflict is known as the Battle of the Bulge.

Here, 70 years after the start of the Ardennes Counteroffensive (as the battle is sometimes known), LIFE.com presents a series of photographs made by LIFE photographers throughout the fighting. Many of these pictures never ran in LIFE magazine.

For its final offensive to succeed, Germany needed four factors to work in its favor: catching the Allies off-guard; poor weather that would neutralize air support for Allied troops; the dealing of early, devastating, demoralizing blows against the Allies; and capturing Allied fuel supplies intact. (Indeed, Germany originally intended to attack on November 27, but had to delay its initial assault due to fuel shortages). On December 16, 1944, the German attack began: the Wehrmacht (the Third Reich’s unified armed forces) struck with 250,000 soldiers along an 85-mile stretch of Allied front, stretching from southern Belgium to Luxembourg.

The attack proved stunningly effective, at first, as troops advanced some 50 miles into Allied territory, creating the “bulge” in the American lines that gave the battle its memorable name.

A Belgian woman surveys damage to her home caused by heavy fighting in the nearby Ardennes Forest, Battle of the Bulge.American forces had been feeling triumphant — Paris had just been liberated in August — and there was a sense among some American and other Allied leaders that Germany was all but defeated. The attack in December 1944, officially labeled the “Ardennes-Alsace Campaign” by the U.S. Army, showed that any complacency the Allies might have embraced regarding the Wehrmacht was dangerously misplaced.

Nevertheless, as effective as the initial German efforts were, they failed to achieve the complete and early knockout of Allied forces that German military brass had hoped for, and counted on. (Wehrmacht Field Marshal Walter Model had given the attack only a 10 percent chance of success to begin with. The German name for the operation: Wacht am Rhein, or “Watch on the Rhine.”)

(At right: A Belgian woman surveys damage to her home caused by heavy fighting during the Battle of the Bulge.)

One of the most difficult aspects of the Bulge was the weather, as extreme — indeed, historic — cold wreaked havoc and turned relatively simple logistics of travel, shelter, and meals into a daily struggle. January 1945 was the coldest January on record for that part of Europe, and over the course of the battle more than 15,000 Allied troops alone were treated for frostbite and other cold-related injuries.

Before the attack, some German troops who were able to speak English disguised themselves as Allied soldiers. They made a point of changing road signs and generally spreading misinformation. Germans captured engaging in the subterfuge were executed by firing squad. Images 25-30 in this gallery chronicle one such execution. The three Germans, LIFE magazine reported in June 1945 — when the U.S. War Department released the images — were German intelligence officers who were captured, tried and shot.

The Nazis were carefully groomed for their dangerous mission [LIFE wrote]. They spoke excellent English and their slang had been tuned up by close association with American prisoners of war in German camps… Under the rules of the Hague Convention these Germans were classifiable as spies and subject to an immediate court martial by a military tribunal. After brief deliberation American officers found them guilty, and ordered the usual penalty for spies: death by firing squad.

Other German efforts at sabotage, meanwhile, proved largely ineffective, including attempts to bribe port and railroad workers to impede Allied supply operations.

Perhaps the defining moment in the Battle of the Bulge came when the Germans demanded the surrender of American troops who were outnumbered and surrounded in the town of Bastogne. United States General Anthony McAuliffe replied to the ultimatum with a now-legendary one-word response — “Nuts!” — which is a milder way of saying, “F— you.” His men withstood several German attacks until they could be relieved by the 4th Armored Division.

“This is undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the war,” Winston Churchill said in the House of Commons following the Battle of the Bulge, “and will, I believe, be regarded as an ever-famous American victory.”

While the Allied forces triumphed, victory came at a heavy price, with nearly 20,000 Americans killed and tens of thousands more wounded, missing or captured. British troops suffered more than 1,000 casualties. For American forces, the Bulge was the bloodiest battle on the Western Front during the Second World War.

German losses were severe, with estimates ranging from 70,000 to 100,000 casualties (depending on the source).

With victory on January 25, 1945, the final triumph over Nazi Germany was in reach; Allied forces pressed their advantage and began the last push toward Berlin. On May 7, Germany agreed to an unconditional surrender. Less than five months after the Battle of the Bulge ended, the war in Europe was over.

Ben Cosgrove is the Editor of LIFE.com

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME World War II

Remembering ‘The Few': Photos of the Young Pilots Who Saved England

Portraits of the young fliers, from many nations, who helped save England during the Battle of Britain.

“The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” — Winston Churchill addressing the House of Commons, Aug. 20, 1940

Of the countless memorable phrases uttered by the indomitable British Prime Minister during the war years, Winston Churchill’s tribute to and celebration of “The Few,” as the airmen of the Royal Air Force have ever since been affectionately known, endures as among his most moving and most heartfelt. (That not all of the pilots were, in fact, British—there were Poles, Czechs, Americans, Canadians, Irish, New Zealanders and others, as well—that fact hardly dilutes the power of the sentiment, or the intensity of Churchill’s and England’s gratitude to those fliers.)

In 1940’s pivotal, four-month Battle of Britain, thousands of these (mostly young) pilots held off fighters from the mighty German Luftwaffe, quite literally saving the Sceptered Isle from defeat at the hands of the Third Reich and proving to a skeptical world that the Nazi military juggernaut was neither inevitable nor invincible.

Here, LIFE.com offers charming, revealing portraits of The Few by photographer William Vandivert. (Most of these photos did not originally appear in LIFE magazine.)

[See all of LIFE’s galleries]

As LIFE put it to its readers the following spring, when the magazine ran some of Vandivert’s pictures in the March 21, 1941, issue:

England’s most important young men today are the several thousand youth who fly the Hurricane and Spitfire fighters in the Battle of Britain. They undoubtedly saved England last fall from Nazi invasion. Hitler must knock them all out of the air over Britain before he dares to invade England this spring.

[In these pictures] LIFE takes you to an actual airfield of the RAF’s Fighter Command during the airblitz last fall. Here you see new kind of battle action — what goes on on the ground at a fighter station while the fate of a nation is being fought out in the clouds.

These young British fliers, unlike their German opponents, are elaborately modest. There is little or no brag and swagger about them and they fight the Germans with a sort of casual perfection that is the envy of every other air force in the world. Their job calls for a fit young man of great calm and great optimism, preferably not in love. Very few of these young fighter pilots are married. Their ages range around 23. It takes moral self-confidence and concentration to kill early, often and quickly, without a sense of guilt.

Close to 3,000 RAF fliers took to the skies in the Battle of Britain. More than 500 were killed; around 80 percent of those lost were Britons. The chances of The Few ever being forgotten by the nation they helped save? Zero.

TIME Behind the Picture

LIFE With MacArthur: The Landing at Luzon, the Philippines, 1945

Carl Mydans' photograph of Gen. Douglas MacArthur at Luzon distills something elemental about MacArthur's larger-than-life persona

With the possible exception of Gen. George S. Patton, no American who rose to prominence during the Second World War could compete with Gen. Douglas MacArthur when it came to either influence or controversy. A titanic personality who was keenly aware of the power of the image to help craft a narrative about a battle, a campaign or a hugely symbolic moment, MacArthur had a prickly relationship with the press.

The story, meanwhile, behind what is arguably the single most famous picture of the general, and certainly one of the most recognizable pictures to emerge from WWII, ably illustrates the Arkansas native’s grasp of a photograph’s ability to lionize—or demonize—a public figure.

The picture in question, made by LIFE’s Carl Mydans on Jan. 9, 1945, shows MacArthur striding ashore onto “Blue Beach,” Dagupan, on the island of Luzon, Lingayen Gulf, in the Philippines. That Mydans’ photograph does not capture the return to the Philippines—the return that MacArthur promised in his single most famous utterance—hardly detracts from its significance. In fact, even more so than the pictures of MacArthur at Leyte in October 1944, when the general first returned to the Philippines after escaping from Corregidor two years before, Mydans’ photograph of the general and his comrades in the surf at Luzon seems to capture and perfectly distill something elemental about MacArthur’s magnetism and his larger-than-life persona.

Years later, in a 1992 interview with John Loengard, Mydans remembered making that picture, and other photos both onboard the USS Boise and at Luzon after the landing, as if it had all happened just days before.

Quoted in Loengard’s book, LIFE Photographers: What They Saw (Bulfinch, 1998), Mydans recalls how he came to be with MacArthur on the ship before the landing, and on the shore in time to capture the general walking through the waves to the beach:

I was in France when I got a coded message from my office: MacArthur was returning to the Philippines. By the time I got to Leyte, though, the landing was over. . . . While the last of the battle for Leyte was still being fought MacArthur’s public information officer called us together and said, “MacArthur will go to the Luzon assault on the USS Boise. Six of you will go in with him. You’ll draw lots out of a helmet.” A captain tore up paper, and everybody put his hand in and took out a piece. . . . [T]he slip of paper I found in my hand had the one word, “Stills.” I was the only still photographer, except for the military, on the Boise. I was loaded into the same landing craft with MacArthur, and I went ashore with him.

The story of what happened there has been told and retold many times, incorrectly. [People always ask me] “How many times did he do that for you, Mr. Mydans?” And the answer is always the same: “He did it once.” I now realize that the question will go on forever.

In 1961, both MacArthur and Mydans returned to Luzon, where each had made history 16 years before. In the July 14, 1961, issue of LIFE, Mydans wrote movingly of that trip, and of MacArthur’s difficulty keeping his emotions in check when he was back in the place and among the people that had shaped so much of his career and his life.

“This,” said General MacArthur to Mrs. MacArthur standing close beside him on the sands above the beach at Lingayen [wrote Mydans], “is what I wanted you to see,” and he ran his hand gently over the plaque which now marks the place where his forces returned to Luzon on the morning of Jan. 9, 1945.

The general spotted me in the crowd, and he tapped the plaque again. “This one’s for you, Carl,” he called out. Then, coming over, he said, “This is the highlight of it all, isn’t it? For you and for me.”

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

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