WHITE HOUSE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS RELATING TO PEARL HARBOR, DATED DECEMBER 7TH, 1941.
WHITE HOUSE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS RELATING TO PEARL HARBOR, DATED DECEMBER 7TH, 1941.
WHITE HOUSE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS RELATING TO PEARL HARBOR, DATED DECEMBER 7TH, 1941.

WHITE HOUSE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS RELATING TO PEARL HARBOR, DATED DECEMBER 7TH, 1941.

Washington D.C. 1941. Collection containing the following:
ITEM 1: A typewritten original statement (8” x I2”) on watermarked paper, dated December 7, I94I. Its three paragraphs cover FDR’s meeting with his Cabinet and legislative leaders upon early news of the Pearl Harbor attack, a summary of damage on American defenses elsewhere, and the mention of an address to a Joint Session of Congress planned for December 8 (at which time President Roosevelt delivered his “Date Which Will Live In Infamy” speech, formally asking for a declaration of war against Japan.) This is the first draft of the announcement made from the White House at 11pm EST after Roosevelt met with his cabinet about the attack on Pearl Harbor. A prior five line announcement was issued by the White House at 2:25pm EST to select members of the press.

Item 1 was typed by Myrtle Bergheim, on Grace Tully’s blue-ribboned machine, while Miss Tully took phone calls and additional dictation from the president. Earlier on December 7 the first draft of his Declaration of War address to the Congress was written with the same typewriter by Grace Tully.

Item 1 is unique. That is established by a bold, clear pencil notation from Miss Tully: “Original – File” with her distinctive capital “F”. On it also is “U. R.” [“Urgent Release” or “Under Roosevelt”]. The formation of those letters matches the handwriting of Myrtle Bergheim, shown in other Roosevelt Library holdings. In pencil there are also a paragraph indicator, and “noon” above the crossed-out word “news”. Those additions are by Grace Tully. Item 1 is the basis for revision to four paragraphs that two successive carbon copies record [Items 2 & 3]. Item 1 was created at 11:00 PM or closely thereafter – deducible from words within it and another note on Item 2. Even though simple in appearance, Item 1 has a crucial place in the time line of World War II, because after its disclosure regarding FDR's intended Joint Congressional Address, there could be no turning away from the largest armed undertaking in history.

ITEM 2: A single-spaced carbon copy headed “FOR THE PRESS IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 7, I941”. Its four paragraphs are a word-for-word duplication of Item 1's three paragraphs describing details of the December 7th attack. There are two penciled notations at the top of Item 2: “11:20 P.m.” (sic), underlined, with a penciled “U R”. That time designation is likely by the hand of Grace Tully, coordinating the releases, then passing them on to Stephen Early.

ITEM 3: This is a double-spaced carbon copy headed “FOR THE PRESS IMMEDIATE RELEASE DECEMBER 7, I941”, containing verbatim the sentences in Item 3.

ITEM 4: A one page "Air Raid Instructions"

ITEM 5: A two page "How to be an Executive in Wartime Washington"

ITEM 6: The file copy of a memo on White House stationary, dated February 7, 1941, addressed "To Heads of all Departments and Agencies", requesting that all newspapermen with credentials by The Secret Service shall be admitted to all departments. If the credentials are presented, it is not necessary for them to need to obtain other credentials in the performance of their duties. The page has two paperclip marks.

ITEM 7: A copy of The War Message, by Franklin D. Roosevelt, published by Ritten House in 1942, in Philadelphia. in VG/G condition, dust jacket mostly tore along spine, moderate chipping.

ITEM 8: An original negative of President Harry S. Truman, 2 1/4"

ITEM 9: A one page personal letter to Myrtle Bergheim, dated March 24, 1950, discussing, among other things, the rumors surrounding political appointments, crackpot mail being sent to the White House, and a woman who wanted the President's pajamas. The letter was sent by Charles Griffith Ross, the White House Press Secretary between 1945 and 1950 for President Harry S. Truman.

ITEM 10: two copies of a speech, dated November 4, 1940. Each copy is two pages. One copy has a small pencil change. Both copies are 'NOT FOR RELEASE" and were for publication.

ITEM 11: One page draft of Item 10, containing the first half of the speech given in item 10.

ITEM 12: A two page list of "People to Appear on Platform at War Memorial", with one name penciled out.

ITEM 13: A small portrait of Myrtle Bergheim.

ITEM 14: a copy of LIFE magazine, October 29, 1945. Page 13 contains a caricature of Charles Ross, Myrtle Bergheim, and her secretary.

Myrtle Bergheim (Secretary to Stephen Early), Grace Tully (Secretary to The President), and Stephen Early (Secretary To The Press)

Bergheim was the personal secretary to Stephen Early and his successor Charles Ross. She took daily stenographic dictation from FDR, and in later years from President Truman. Traveling on official business, election campaigns, and vacations

Grace Tully was the personal secretary to Franklin Roosevelt from 1941-1945.

Stephen Early met Franklin Roosevelt as a reporter for the Associated Press at the Democratic Party’s 1912 convention, after which FDR asked him to be the advance man in his 1920 vice-presidential campaign. He served as White House Press Secretary under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 to 1945 and then again under President Harry S. Truman in 1950 after the sudden death of Charles Griffith Ross. Early was the longest serving press secretary.

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