Why Words Matter

I saw a documentary the other day about the 24 hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  The narrative showed a copy of the speech President Franklin D. Roosevelt was set to deliver via radio.

The opening line of the draft: “Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in world history, the United States of America was simultaneously and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

FDR edited the opener to read: “Yesterday, December, 7, 1941, a date that will live in infamy . . .”

And made history with one stroke of his pen.


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