PEARL HARBOR: Fireside Scene

It was a mild December night for Washington—cool and damp. In the big, oval study on the second floor of the White House, a cheery blaze crackled in the grey marble fireplace. Franklin Roosevelt leaned back in his big leather easy chair. Up & down the cluttered, cream-walled room, Harry Hopkins paced nervously. History was expected.

At 9:30, a trim, black-haired Navy lieutenant named Lester R. Schulz strode into the room carrying a locked pouch. The President reached eagerly for the just decoded papers—the first 13 parts of the final Japanese reply to State Secretary Hull....

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