Today in History: December 7, 1941

On the 2nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor, in 1943, The Washington Post ran an editorial which said:

“[Pearl Harbor Day] brings back memory of our pitiful unpreparedness and our laxity in the face of disaster and our boastfulness about our national strength … Such memories serve a useful purpose in toughening our minds to accept the realities of war.”

And here – is a cool fact about my home state, Rhode Island:

There is only one newspaper in the United States that comes out on Sunday afternoon, (as opposed to Sunday morning) and that is the local paper for Westerly, in Rhode Island, The Westerly Sun.

Because The Westerly Sun comes out at 3 pm it was the only newspaper in the entire country to report the bombing of Pearl Harbor, on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941 – on the day it actually happened.

It is a teeny little local newspaper … and it was the FIRST and ONLY one on that day of days.

Chilling:

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11 Responses to Today in History: December 7, 1941

  1. ricki says:

    wow…that is chilling.

    My father was not very old – I think he was about 6 – when Pearl Harbor was bombed but he says he remembers the “adults” in his family talking about it and the tone of their voice, the scared tone.

    I also had an older teacher when I was in grade school (my very cool 5th grade math teacher) who was a young teenager when it happened…she heard one of the radio announcements of it. I remember she talked about it in class (maybe even on Pearl Harbor Day).

    I also won a little bit of respect from my 8th grade history teacher because I was the only one in the class who could answer correctly when he asked “does anyone know what happened today in history?”

  2. Rude1 says:

    > I still remember my g’ma telling me about her family getting her brothers “personal effects” after Pearl Harbor. (he was killed on the Oklahoma) She tells the story even now at 95 and gets so sad. She remembers the family holding on to hope even after the effects were delivered because “they couldn’t be his things, he didn’t wear glasses.” All that was returned to the family were a few small trinkets and a broken, twisted pair of spectacles. A friend of mine wrote this about Dec 7, 41 and 9/11: “History… it’s the thing that is happening, when we are on our way to breakfast and have other plans.” So, so true.

  3. Pearl Harbor posting

    Here’s a round-up of Pearl Harbor posts. Many of the links are, themselves, link-filled. Click, read, remember. Michelle Malkin: Pearl Harbor: 64 Years La Shawn Barber: The attack on Pearl Harbor remembered 64 years later…

  4. CW says:

    I should do a post about Pan Am’s clippers on December 7th.

    Because the Navy knew war was coming, all of Pan Am’s crews were commissioned in the Naval Reserve well before December 7th, and given sealed orders to be opened in the event of war. Those sealed orders almost gave the impression that the Navy knew a surprise attack was imminent.

    Thanks for the good idea Red!

  5. red says:

    CW – yay! Another Pan Am post!!

  6. “This is not a drill!”

    One of my favorite naval stories has always been that of the USS Nevada’s attempted sortie during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on the…

  7. Cullen says:

    My grandfather was in a Pacific, having enlisted in the Navy. They missed Pearl Harbor by about a week or so, they were out at sea and were supposed to have put to port in the beginning of Decemeber but for some reason they were called back out before putting in at Pearl Harbor.

  8. Cullen says:

    My grandfather was in the Pacific, having enlisted in the Navy. They missed Pearl Harbor by about a week or so, they were out at sea and were supposed to have put to port in the beginning of Decemeber but for some reason they were called back out before putting in at Pearl Harbor.

  9. Ken Summers says:

    Chilling is right. I can’t think of anything that is more stark and frightening than a dispatch (or telegram) like that. The simple sparsity of words alone does it.

  10. No great post

    Jus a moment of silence. I’ll add links as I come across them. Here’s Cullen. Sheila has a very chilling picture (apologies; “chilling” says it all and I can’t come up with a better word)…

  11. Linda F says:

    Today, as usual when Pearl Harbor Day falls on a weekday, I put the quotation from FDR “A day that shall live in infamy” on the board. I challenged my students to tell me who said it, and when.

    I was floored that EVERY class knew it. I finally got “why” when one girl confessed that the quote came from the movie, and that “the guy was SUCH a hottie”.

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