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Congress did declare war on Japan after President Franklin Roosevelt's speech. Germany then declared war on the United States, which the United States reciprocated with their own declaration of war against Germany. It took nearly four years, but Germany finally surrendered to the Allies on May 8, 1945.

In this activity, you will read an excerpt from a transcript of President Harry Truman's radio address, which includes the statements he made before reading his Proclamation of May 13, 1945, appointing the day as a national day of prayer. As you read, use the highlighter tool to identify the main idea of the text. See if you can also identify three details from the text that show evidence that supports the main idea.

How to Use the Highlighter Tool

To use the highlighter tool, drag your mouse over the word or words you want to select. Once the highlighter color palette appears, click a color and your selected words are now highlighted. Suggestion: Use one color for the main idea and a different color for the supporting evidence. (You can download a PDF of the excerpt to highlight on paper.)

"This is a solemn but a glorious hour. I only wish that Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day. General Eisenhower informs me that the forces of Germany have surrendered to the United Nations. The flags of freedom fly over all Europe…

Our rejoicing is sobered and subdued by a supreme consciousness of the terrible price we have paid to rid the world of Hitler and his evil band. Let us not forget, my fellow Americans, the sorrow and the heartache which today abide in the homes of so many of our neighbors—neighbors whose most priceless possession has been rendered as a sacrifice to redeem our liberty.

We can repay the debt which we owe to our God, to our dead and to our children only by work—by ceaseless devotion to the responsibilities which lie ahead of us. If I could give you a single watchword for the coming months, that word is—work, work, and more work.

We must work to finish the war. Our victory is but half-won. The West is free, but the East is still in bondage to the treacherous tyranny of the Japanese. When the last Japanese division has surrendered unconditionally, then only will our fighting job be done…

I call upon every American to stick to his post until the last battle is won. Until that day, let no man abandon his post or slacken his efforts…"

— President Harry Truman, May 8, 1945

Source: University of Virginia Miller Centeropens in new window

Click the Show Answer button below to see if you have correctly identified the main idea and supporting details in the text. In the answer, the green highlights the supporting details.