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World War II: U.S. Proclamation of Unlimited National Emergency

(May 27, 1941)

(Proclaiming That an Unlimited National Emergency Confronts This Country, Which Requires That Its Military, Naval, Air and Civilian Defenses Be Put on the Basis of Readiness to Repel Any and All Acts or Threats of Aggression Directed Toward any Part of the Western Hemisphere.)


A Proclamation

WHEREAS on September 8, 1939, because of the outbreak of war in Europe a proclamation was issued declaring a limited national emergency and directing measures "for the purpose of strengthening our national defense within the limits of peacetime authorizations",

WHEREAS a succession of events makes plain that the objectives of the Axis belligerents in such war are not confined to those avowed at its commencement, but include overthrow throughout the world of existing democratic order, and a worldwide domination of peoples and economies through the destruction of all resistance on land and sea and in the air, AND

WHEREAS indifference on the part of the United States to the increasing menace would be perilous, and common prudence requires that for the security of this nation and of this hemisphere we should pass from peacetime authorizations of military strength to such a basis as will enable us to cope instantly and decisively with any attempt at hostile encirclement of this hemisphere, or the establishment of any base for aggression against it, as well as to repel the threat of predatory incursion by foreign agents into our territory and society,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America, do proclaim that an unlimited national emergency confronts this country, which requires that its military, naval, air and civilian defences be put on the basis of readiness to repel any and all acts or threats of aggression directed toward any part of the Western Hemisphere.

I call upon all the loyal citizens engaged in production for defense to give precedence to the needs of the nation to the end that a system of government that makes private enterprise possible may survive.

I call upon all our loyal workmen as well as employers to merge their lesser differences in the larger effort to insure the survival of the only kind of government which recognizes the rights of labor or of capital.

I call upon loyal state and local leaders and officials to cooperate with the civilian defense agencies of the United States to assure our internal security against foreign directed subversion and to put every community in order for maximum productive effort and minimum of waste and unnecessary frictions.

I call upon all loyal citizens to place the nation's needs first in mind and in action to the end that we may mobilize and have ready for instant defensive use all of the physical powers, all of the moral strength and all of the material resources of this nation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this twenty-seventh day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-fifth.



By the President:


Secretary of State

[Department of State Bulletin, May 31, 1941.]

Sources: ibiblio