U.S. Declarations of War in 1941
Early in the afternoon on December 8, 1941, Irving Swanson sat at the rostrum of the House and stared into a packed chamber. A few feet away, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war against Japan following its attack on Pearl Harbor the day before. Swanson, the reading clerk, recorded the vote approving military action. Watch as he describes the atmosphere in the chamber, the decision by Montana Representative Jeannette Rankin to oppose the war, and his experience reading the declarations of war against Germany and Italy.