The U.S. on Thursday is commemorating the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which sparked American intervention in World War II.
For many, it is a somber remembrance of the more than 2,400 lives lost during the shocking ambush by the Japanese military on December 7, 1941. It’s also a time to remember the heroism of the servicemen and civilians who saved countless more lives.
Naturally, the White House should comment on the important date in American history. And naturally, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump managed to botch it.
Trump tweeted a misquotation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech following the attack, in which he asked for a declaration of war. Trump referred to the date as “a day that will live in infamy!” But Roosevelt actually said, “a date which will live in infamy.”
And then there was Melania’s tweet, which was incorrect for an entirely different reason.
“Today we honor Pearl Harbor Heroes. 11/7/1941,” the First Lady said on Twitter. “Thank you to all military for your courage and sacrifice!”
Of course, Pearl Harbor took place on December 7, 1941, not November 7, 1941. Melania later corrected the error, though Trump’s erroneous tweet has remained up, as of the time of this writing.
Trump has claimed he is a champion of veterans and also a student of American history, but the First Family’s comments on December 7 appear to say otherwise. This isn’t the first time that Trump has bungled U.S. or world history. In public remarks this year, Trump has shown a slippery grasp of American Civil War history and Napoleonic France.