January 6, 1942 – President Roosevelt – State Of The Union Message – NBC Combined Networks – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
January 6, 1942 – The customary State Of The Union; every year, a report on the health of a nation. This year it was the health of a nation at war only a month in. President Roosevelt delivered his address, and with it a determination to bring America and its Allies to victory in the midst of what was looking like a grim and uncertain future.
Below is an excerpt from that address, delivered by President Roosevelt to a joint session of Congress on January 6, 1942.
FDR: “American armed forces will help to protect this hemisphere—and also help to protect bases outside this hemisphere, which could be used for an attack on the Americas.
If any of our enemies, from Europe or from Asia, attempt long-range raids by “suicide” squadrons of bombing planes, they will do so only in the hope of terrorizing our people and disrupting our morale. Our people are not afraid of that. We know that we may have to pay a heavy price for freedom. We will pay this price with a will. Whatever the price, it is a thousand times worth it. No matter what our enemies, in their desperation, may attempt to do to us- we will say, as the people of London have said, “We can take it.” And what’s more we can give it back and we will give it back—with compound interest.
When our enemies challenged our country to stand up and fight, they challenged each and every one of us. And each and every one of us has accepted the challenge—for himself and for his Nation.
There were only some 400 United States Marines who in the heroic and historic defense of Wake Island inflicted such great losses on the enemy. Some of those men were killed in action; and others are now prisoners of war. When the survivors of that great fight are liberated and restored to their homes, they will learn that a hundred and thirty million of their fellow citizens have been inspired to render their own full share of service and sacrifice.
We can well say that our men on the fighting fronts have already proved that Americans today are just as rugged and just as tough as any of the heroes whose exploits we celebrate on the Fourth of July.
Many people ask, “When will this war end?” There is only one answer to that. It will end just as soon as we make it end, by our combined efforts, our combined strength, our combined determination to fight through and work through until the end —the end of militarism in Germany and Italy and Japan. Most certainly we shall not settle for less.”
Here is that complete address as it was broadcast by the combined networks of NBC and relayed to the CBC in Canada.
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