Pearl Harbor
(and some Popular Front)
Pearl Harbor > Events leading up to the attack
• 1922 Benito Mussolini comes to power in Italy
• September 1931 Japan occupies Manchuria
• March 1933 Adolf Hitler seizes power
• May 1933 Japan quits League of Nations
• 1936 Spanish Civil War against Franco
• August 1937 Japan invades China
• October 1937 FDR calls for international cooperation against aggression
• March 1938 Germany annexes Austria
• September 1938 Munich agreement lets Germany annex Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia
• November 1938 Kristallnacht, Nazis attack Jews and destroy Jewish property
• March 1939 Germany annexes remainder of Czechoslovaka
• August 1939 Germany and the Soviet Union sign nonagression pact
• September 1939 Germany invades Poland; World War II begins
•April-June 1940 Bliztkrieg (Germany conquers much of Western Europe)
• September 1940 Germany, Italy, and Japan (the Axis powers) conclude a military alliance
• September 1940 First peacetime draft in American history
• November 1940 FDR elected for a third term
• March 1941 Lend-Lease Act extends aid to Great Britain
• May 1941 Germans secure the Balkans
• June 1941 Germany invades the Soviet Union
• August 1941 The United States and Great Britain agree to the Atlantic Charter
• December 1941 Japanese attack Pearl Harbor
Democracy > Washington Post cartoon, 1938
Democracy > Orr C. Fisher, The Corn Parade, oil on canvas 1941
Democracy > Photograph of Diego Rivera’s mural destroyed by Nelson
Rockefeller, 1933
Democracy > Diego Rivera, Man at the Crossroads, fresco, 1934
Democracy > It Can’t Happen Here, Federal Theater Project, Detroit, 1938
Democracy > Ernst Lubitsch, To Be or Not to Be, 1942
Labor > Memorial Day Massacre, May 29, 1937
Labor > Antiwar labor pamphlet
Labor > North American Aviation advertisement, Collier’s, 1942
Racism > Marion Anderson singing at Lincoln Memorial
Racism > Omaha high school student’s fascist sticker, 1938
Racism > “Trust and Rely” Japanese poster, 1937
Pearl Harbor > US Ships during Pearl Harbor attack, 1941
Pearl Harbor > Live KTU broadcast from Hawaii during the attack
Reporter: Hello, NBC. Hello, NBC. This is KTU in Honolulu, Hawaii. I am speaking from
the roof of the Advertiser Publishing Company Building. We have witnessed this morning
the distant view a brief full battle of Pearl Harbor and the severe bombing of Pearl Harbor
by enemy planes, undoubtedly Japanese. The city of Honolulu has also been attacked and
considerable damage done. This battle has been going on for nearly three hours. One of the
bombs dropped within fifty feet of KTU tower. It is no joke. It is a real war. The public of
Honolulu has been advised to keep in their homes and away from the Army and Navy.
There has been serious fighting going on in the air and in the sea. The heavy shooting
seems to be . . . a little interruption. We cannot estimate just how much damage has been
done, but it has been a very severe attack. The Navy and Army appear now to have the air
and the sea under control.
Operator: Ah, just a minute. . . . This is the telephone company. This is the operator.
Reporter: Yes.
Operator: We have quite a big call, an emergency call.
Reporter: We’re talking to New York now.
Pearl Harbor > Interview with serviceman Orville Quick
On the morning of December 7th, we had just come from the, eating breakfast in the mess
hall, walked out in the street, and looked up, and here comes a Jap plane flying and shooting down
through the area, and we stood there watching it, wondering what in the world was going on. We
thought maybe it was probably the air corps putting on a little show, ‘cause they did that every once in
a while. They’d fly around and drop little sacks of flour for bombing practice, I guess. And we didn’t
know what it was. And we could look down south towards Pearl Harbor and Honolulu and we could
see a big smoke rising and the boom-booms.
Finally, the bugler blew the call to arms, and none of us had ever heard that bugle call
before. We didn’t know what in the world it was until somebody said that the Japs were attacking Pearl
Harbor and for us to go to the supply office and get our ammunition and then go up to the barracks and
draw our rifles. So we went down to the supply office to get our ammunition, and the supply office
didn’t have any ammunition belts to put the ammunition in. So a lot of us carried eighty rounds, and
that was ten clips of eight rounds apiece. We carried those in our pants pocket for days and days and
days before the supply finally got in some ammunition belts to carry the ammunition in. Then we got
our rifles. Nobody knew how to put a clip of shells in the rifle, but we did have a few men in the
company that had had some training before on those rifles, so those guys showed us how to get that
clip into that M-1 rifle and get our thumb out of the way so we didn’t get our thumb smashed.
Then the first night, the night of December the 7th, of course, that was blackout. Everything was
blacked out. There was not a speck of light. The windows in the mess hall had been painted black, the
doorways had been doubled up, painted, and tarps were hung over the doors. There wasn’t a light of
any kind even in the mess hall.
Sometime during the evening, after dark, some airplanes flew over, evidently some of ours.
Nobody knew whose they were or what they were. We were down in a little coolie below our barracks.
And some idiot took his 45 and shot a couple times in the air. Why, nobody seems to know. But it was
confusion, unprepared, total confusion until they figured out what in the world was going on.
Pearl Harbor > Immigrant interviewed on the street after Pearl Harbor
Interviewer: So would you say a word? What’s your name?
Jay Noreski: Yes sir. My name is Noreski. Jay Noreski. I’m a World War veteran. 1917
and 18. The last time I went to fought for democracy. They told me to fight for
democracy. And I went over. I volunteered. But next time, I’m going to fight. There’s
hate in my heart. What’s in me, what’s in my veins. I’m gonna kill, slaughter those Nazi
ones if I come across a wounded one, wouldn’t interest me. I’d kill my own father if he
dared fight against this country. I’m an American, not by birth, but by choice. And I’m
mighty damn proud of it. What are you going to do in this county to chase every damn
skunk—German, Russian, Japanese, where theycome from—and never bring them back
in this country. If I had—I wish I was the President for about one year, I would—there’d
be not a goddamn skunk left here in this country. And I’m gonna tell you something
else—United States never lost a war yet and never gonna lose it because five guys, we
might [inaudible] about our presidents, about our Congressmen, about our—what do you
call it? in charge of a state?
Interviewer: Secretary of State?
Noreski: No no no.
Interviewer: Governors?
Noreski: Governors. But when they come to fight, dammit we’ll fight to the last breath.
And I’m mighty damn proud I’m American. Only one thing hurts me, my heart is
American, my thoughts are American, but my damn tongue, I never naturalized that.
Pearl Harbor > African American interviewed in a pool hall after Pearl Harbor
Andrew Smith: My name’s Andrew Smith. And I tell you, what I feel about the war,
they’ve been talking war long enough. And they’ve been talking long time that we
should have been in it. Way I feel about it—if it’d been up to me we’d a been fighting a
year ago. When Hitler first started they’d been fighting, see, they would have stopped
him before he got as far as they are. They’d have stopped him, in fact, that’s what I think
this one’s gonna come up to be to stop him. And that’s the good thing that this really
started, I think. As far as Japan’s concerned, why it’s just like he just said, it’s a stab in
the back. They started something that nobody else, nobody gonna start, you know, and
the man was supposed to be here, supposed to’ve been talking peace to our President,
and they starting war over there. Well, I don’t think it was justice. No justice there. Negro
people would do their very best if they had a chance to do what they can, that they would
do their very best to do what they can. See? But, if they have a chance to do it. All they
want is a chance. Because if they don’t get a chance, that’s the only reason they don’t do
it because they really don’t get a chance. See? But if they get a chance, why I really think
they would do their very best, especially if they all feel like I feel.

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