Roosevelt Kept Quiet About Raid

In the days following Lt. Col. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle's daring raid on Tokyo and five other Japanese cities, no one was talking — not even President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

 

Speaking to reporters on April 21, 1942, three days after the mission, an almost playful Roosevelt still wouldn't confirm news stories originating from Japan that the bombing run had taken place.

 

“Would you care to go so far as to confirm the truth of the Japanese reports that Tokyo was bombed?” a reporter asked the president, according to news conference transcripts.

 

“No, I couldn't even do that,” Roosevelt replied. “I am depending on Japanese reports very largely.”

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