Monday, December 07, 2009

Day of Infamy

Today we remember the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawai'i, on this day in 1941. At the time, our armed forces were diminished, our naval fleet was a fraction of the scale required for readiness, and our army still trained with wooden rifles and relied on horse-mounted cavalry. Meanwhile, as the fighting already began in Europe, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave one of his most famous speeches. As this recording will demonstrate, he started off quite calmly but then builds the suspense.

Once Churchill was speaking in Parliament and was slightly muddled and incoherent in his speech. A rather unattractive lady MP on the opposite benches declared to Churchill: 'Sir, you are drunk!'. To which he replied 'Madame that may be true, but in the morning I shall be sober whereas you will still be ugly'.

Indeed, a man who, in his younger days, was told he could never succeed in public speaking, became one of the great orator/statesmen of the twentieth century.

Success is always the best revenge.

(h/t to Jimmy Thatcher.)

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