Saturday, December 10, 2016

December 7, 1941--The Year That Has Lived in Infamy

   We have struggled during this election year of 2016 with the effects of too much news.  Imagine December 7, 1941, when all our information came either from the newspaper or the radio. The Journal-Review reported on December 8 that hundreds of people stood outside their building on Green Street waiting for and reading Associated Press bulletins as they were received on the news wire.  

   Here is part of an original bulletin from that day.
“WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 - (AP) - Japanese airplanes today attacked American defense bases at Hawaii and Manila, and President Roosevelt ordered the Army and Navy to carry out undisclosed orders prepared for the defense of the United States."

   And that was all they knew.  Several county residents were already in the Armed Forces, and families were worried about their role in this new engagement with the Japanese.  John C. McIntyre was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Virginia, based in Hawaii. B. F. Suverkup, had been stationed  aboard the U.S.S. Oklahoma, which had been damaged in the attack,  as an aerial photographer,  but he had been recently moved to another ship, and was on his way home for Christmas.

1940 Stewart Warner Radio
  The Crawfordsville basketball team was in Columbus for a game, and heard the news while eating.  They kept up with the news on the way to another game by listening to a portable radio.

  People attending movie performances at the Strand Theater, just down the street from the Journal-Review, were updated by means of the public address system. When war was declared, the show stopped, and all stood to sing the Star Spangled Banner.


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