December 7, 1941- The News of Pearl Harbor Hits Los Angeles

Dear Readers, I am taking a break from writing in order to spend time with family and friends over the Holidays.  However, the first week of December always reminds me of the disastrous day that resulted in the United States entering World War II.

In Immigrant Soldier, Herman is in Los Angeles on leave when he hears the news of the strike against Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.  He immediately returns to his assignment at Camp Roberts.  His friends in Los Angeles, William and Arne, may have joined the crowds at Pershing Square in downtown L.A. to hear the developing news. Certainly, the following morning, they would have carefully read the Los Angeles Times, the main daily newspaper in the city, looking for more details about the situation in Hawaii.

To commemorate that day, I present a picture of the front page from December 8th, and a portion of an article that was printed in the paper.

On the morning of Dec. 8, 1941, the Los Angeles Times reported:

With drawn faces, an anxious crowd milled in Pershing Square last night to hear war bulletins flashed over the public address system atop the Defense House. And adding a grim, business-like atmosphere to the entire scene was the presence of machine guns, 3-inch “ack-acks” and great electric “ears” and searchlights aimed at the skies. They are part of the Army’s exhibits in the current Air Corps enlistment campaign. A shocking feeling came to each person in the crowd with the first electrifying announcements of the Pacific attack. Slowly the emotions of perhaps a thousand who stood tensely by faded from one of shocked grief to thin-lipped determination. … At dusk an announcer stepped to the microphone. “Ladies and gentlemen. The flag is about to be lowered from the mast.” … There wasn’t a head in the crowd that wasn’t bare, or a hand that wasn’t to forehead or heart in salute. One thousand persons stood at attention, and an Army bugler blew retreat. As a breeze whistled through the palms, the announcer said solemnly: “Ladies and gentlemen, your flag has been lowered on this, the first day of Americans’ participation in the Second World War.”


                                             Crowd at Pershing Square, Los Angeles, December 7, 1941


Enjoy the Holidays and Thank you for following my blog in 2015!  

More to come next year!!!!


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