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
December 8, 2014 9:30 AM EST

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:

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

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