Friday, December 07, 2007

December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor Day in Chicago

Today is Pearl Harbor Day, the date of December 7, 1941 still lives in infamy, when the Empire of Japan attacked the US Navy at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Chicagoan Robert F. Gallagher has a very interesting chapter from a book he wrote (complete with photos) on World War II, posted online, about Pearl Harbor Day in Chicago in 1941. The first chapter chronicles how he and his friends transformed themselves from lazy teenagers enjoying fun days in high school, hanging out in his South Side neighborhood, to US soldiers. It's a great story, and well worth reading.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City has comprehensive information about Pearl Harbor Day, including FDR's famous speech (although all the links may not work.) Won't you take a few minutes to educate the children tonight about Pearl Harbor Day, and perhaps play FDR's famous 7 minute speech? As the Greatest Generation passes away, it is incumbent on us to discuss how America got involved in World War II, before the anti-American propagandists rewrite American history.

Hat tip: El Rider
The photo above is not Chicago, but Pearl Harbor. It's believed to have been taken from a Japanese airplane.


Blogger El Rider said...

Thanks for the HT. The linked article about Chicago in 1941 is fantastic, what a find. My mother once related her memories from that day. On Sundays her parents would take her to one of her grandparents for for early dinner after Sunday Mass. That morning they heard the news from Hawaii on the car radio while driving home. She said that her father pulled his car over on Lake Street because he was so shook up. I find it hard to imagine my grandfather crying but that's what she said happened that afternoon on Lake Street, under the El.

Dec 8, 2007, 3:49:00 PM  
Blogger Publia said...

el rider,
I thought the linked article was great, too. Thanks for sharing your family's story; I never got much concrete from my family except the observation that the mood of the country was that we were going to be sucked into the war, the only issue remaining was how.

Americans were going to Canada to enlist, and the extent of Germany's atrocities wasn't really known. I think well informed Americans knew that with advanced weaponry and planes, this war would be deadly and harsh for America's sons. Your grandfather had clearly contemplated the toll that this war would exact in advance, and he understood the implications of that attack.

Was it worth it? You bet! Germany and Japan are now countries that ensure basic civil rights to their citizens and have stopped brutalizing neighboring countries.

Dec 11, 2007, 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that history has been rewritten--by the winners. We tell kids about Pear Harbor but never teach them that the U.S. Navy was blockading Japan, a country that had been at war since 1931, to prevent them from getting oil. That's hardly an act of neutrality.

There are other countries that ensure basic rights that were not on the losing end of a war. It does not make since to say that Germany and Japan are that way BECAUSE of the war. Maybe it's a correlation, or maybe they would have transitioned to their present state on their own. Who knows.

Dec 11, 2007, 3:24:00 PM  

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