When the phone rang, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sitting in the Oval Study, located on the White House’s second floor, examining his stamp collection.
The time was 1:47 p.m. The day was Dec. 7, 1941.
Across the country and thousands of miles away, Japanese bombs were raining on Pearl Harbor. Ships were sinking. Men were dying. The Secretary of the Navy was calling with the news.
In that privacy of his office, without a grand audience, the president’s response was spontaneous and unrestrained:
But it was just three…