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How Pearl Harbor changed the U.S. 68 years ago today and what the president told a shocked nation

Last week we had President Obama's less-than-rousing Afghanistan war speech, trying to have it both ways by dispatching more troops while promising a scheduled departure. And not once using the word "victory."

Today, coincidentally, is the 68th anniversary of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, where shortly the 44th president will fly with his family and White House entourage for a holiday vacation. Few Ticket readers will remember the shock that swept the country that quiet Sunday, not unlike 9/11 would do 60 years later. And the millions of lives affected by those events.

So here as a political refresher are two historic videos -- one about the actual attack itself by 350 planes from Imperial Japanese aircraft carriers more than 200 miles away.

The other video includes President Franklin D. Roosevelt's famous war speech the very next day, the one saying that Dec. 7, 1941, would live in infamy. And here we are 24,837 days later remembering.

And now a real presidential war speech from the days of radio when voice and words mattered more than looks.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Bearing in mind that both the Afghan and the Iraq war were borne of the Bush administration, I am compelled to point out that there was little to be believed in any speech from GWB. In fact the previous administration brings to mind Vietnam when we were lied to throughout the war.

FDR was a giant of a man!!!! Obama is such a wimp!!!!!!

FDR WAS A RACIST FOR PUTTING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS INTO CONCENTRATION CAMPS FOR NOTHING OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT THEIR ANCESTRY WAS JAPANESE!

FDR WAS AN EVIL MAN!

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE LOCKED UP AS A PRISONER FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT YOUR ANCESTRY CAME FROM A CERTAIN PLACE?

GOD DAMN FDR!

Mr. Malcolm: You must be a bitter little man. Your posts are filled with such invective against the president that it is disgusting. I suspect that had you been spouting your opinions on December 7, 1941, that you would have found a way to blame Democrat FDR for the attack. Hack!

It is false and untrue to accuse FDR of being a racist because those of japanese descent were relocated during the spring of 1942, along with alien Italians, and Germans. In fact, it may have saved many lives. By the time they were relocated, the atrocities the military of Japan were committing on Americans, Filipinos, and just about everyone they ran into had become common knowledge. If a Japanese soldier used your mother for bayonet practice in Java, Singapore, Manila, Guam, etc., you might have taken out your anger on the next person of Japanese descent you met walking down the street in LA. Relocated Italians, Germans, and Japanese were fed and housed at the expense of the American taxpayer, in no worse surroundings than American troops in some of the most beautiful places in the U.S.

FDR was not a rascist, and Obama is still weak!!!!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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