Found in the Archives

Armistice Day, November 11,1941

On November 11, 1941 – seventy years ago – President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his Armistice Day Address at the Amphitheater at the sacred site of Arlington National Cemetery. Although this annual event was a presidential tradition, the speech this year took on special meeting, for the world was again aflame in war. Most of Europe was now under occupation by Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union was valiantly fighting against the German armies. Here at home, FDR’s efforts to render aid to Britain and to build up America’s defenses were opposed by isolationists in Congress and out.

President Roosevelt used his Armistice Day Address to remind the American people why our soldiers had fought and died in World War I: “to make the world habitable for decent and self-respecting men and women” and “to make the world a place where freedom can live and grow into the ages.”

This document is the third draft of the speech from the President’s Master Speech File. FDR received drafting assistance from Archibald MacLeish, the Librarian of Congress. The handwritten changes you see were made by Roosevelt himself.


To read the full text of the speech, please go to the following link: