Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Day that will Live in Infamy

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Sunday, December 7, 1941, was a warm, sunny day. Vivian, Don and I were playing football out in the west yard when Mother called us in to listen to the Radio. The Japanese were bombing Pearl Harbor in Hawaii where our entire Pacific Fleet was laying at anchor. The trauma was indescribable, but since plans had already been made, Vern and I took Irene Kovar and Dolores Katt to Lincoln to a movie at the Lincoln theater. The movie was “Keep 'em Flying”. We sat in the balcony, and a radio in the projection room kept playing with special reports throughout the evening. The next day President Roosevelt addressed the joint session of Congress and the American Public and stated that: “Yesterday, December 7, 1941, is a day that will live in infamy.” He went on to say that a State of War existed between the United States and Japan as well as with the European Axis Nations (Germany and Italy) It was the only time I remember hearing a radio at school. That evening San Francisco had an air-raid alert, and my diary notation included: “I'm thinking about joining he Army when I'm 17.”


  1. Elaine and I had occasion to visit the FDR Museum at Hyde Park, NY, some years ago. It has since been destroyed by fire, but we saw a glass enclosed, original, hand written copy of Roosevelt's draft of his message to Congress and the Nation concerning the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He has crossed out the word "forever" and wrote in "infamy".

  2. I stand corrected on my earlier comment when referring to Roosevelt's draft as "hand written". It was over 40 years ago when I saw it but tonight, CBS news showed the handwritten correction to "infamy",as I remembered, but it was on a typewritten draft.