The Philippines Was Attacked The Same Day As Pearl Harbour

But Roosevelt Left It Out Of His “Infamy” Speech For Tactical Reasons

Abhinav Dholepat


President Roosevelt Delivering The “Infamy” Speech

On the 7th of December 1941 the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service bombed the Pearl Harbour Naval Station killing 2335 + 68 (civilians) and injuring 1143 + 35 (civilians) individuals. They also damaged, sunk and destroyed a number of ships and aircrafts. The attack took place, from the perspective of the Japanese Military, as a preventive and strategic attack that attempted to strike first and immobilise the United States Navy from threatening Japan. The United States at the time, although neutral, was clearly assisting the Allies.

The very next day, the President, Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed both houses of congress in a now famous speech declaring war on Japan. In speech he reported,

“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.
Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the
American island of Oahu….”

A Draft Of The “Infamy” Speech

The key point in this speech lies in the use of the phrase “American island of Oahu”. The very same day Japan attacked Pearl Harbour (Hawaii) they also attacked the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Guam, Wake, Malaya, Singapore and Thailand. At the time, Philippines and Guam were both US territories. In fact as seen on line 7, President Roosevelt in his draft had first mentioned “Hawaii and the Philippines” but later changed it to just “Oahu”.

This was done, by a logical extension, for the same reason the United States did not get involved in World War II when it first broke out. The United States Congress and Public were not interested in being involved in a war. As a BBC History Extra article explains,

This opposition was based on a long-term