The Day After Infamy – December 8, 1941

Air Raid Wardens - high over New York City - December 8, 1941

Air Raid Wardens – high over New York City – December 8, 1941

News reports and Bulletins – December 8, 1941 – NBC Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

December 8, 1941 – the day After Infamy. With the Japanese surprise attack on Hawaii still fresh in everyone’s minds, and the President declaring a state of War existed toward Germany and Japan, the people of America were quickly preparing themselves for the long road ahead.

Reports of further raids and a threatened invasion of The Philippines made up the news of the day for December 8, 1941. The reports, some unsubstantiated, caused a wave of confusion to sweep over the South Pacific region. Unsubstantiated reports of Japanese bombers heading to San Francisco, Long Beach and Los Angeles brought a wave of panic and city lights all over the West Coast were blacked out, in addition to the suspension of all radio broadcasts until further notice, the country snapped into a war-footing.

Here is a sampling of newscasts from December8, 1941. Because the news was coming in so thick and fast, many Networks decided to run a newscast at the beginning each regularly scheduled program would either be delayed or cancelled all-together, depending on the gravity of the story.

And there was a lot happening this day – the President was going to take to the airwaves at 9:00 pm on the 9th to give more detail on the Pearl Harbor attack as well as attacks on the Philippines and other areas – it would be for a half hour. In addition, no information was being released from The White House over reports that a Battleship and a Destroyer were sunk at Pearl Harbor. According to the Japanese News Agency Domai, the USS Pennsylvania was sunk. The Pennsylvania was the flagship for the Navy in the Pacific Fleet. Information on that, and the rumors that 4 battleships were sunk at Pearl Harbor would not be forthcoming in the President’s address. Other news included reports that the Japanese were bombing Manila during the day, and shortly after the announcement that War had been declared, Japanese troops had capture Guam and Wake Island. The Japanese had also invaded Malaya. Reports from Singapore said that city was under attack, and that rumors the Japanese were using Mustard Gas were not true.

The toll for dead and wounded, as of December 8th was tentatively listed at 1500 dead and 1500 wounded. Reports from Hawaii said all had been quiet since the attack on Sunday.

And that’s just a little of what was going on, the day after the day of Infamy, on December 8, 1941 as reported by NBC News.

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