December 13, 1941- Six days after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the call to arms was louder than ever. Congress was getting ready to pass legislation enacting the Draft, asking all men between the ages of 18 and 65 to register for either military service or war-related work. Many were voicing objection to 18 year olds being drafted, preferring instead that the minimum age should be 21. A compromise was being sought in that 18 year olds should register for the draft, but it would be the 21 year olds who would be drafted until further notice.
War Production was on everyone’s minds this day. It was disclosed that Detroit was turning out some 800 tanks a month, but that the number would increase to over 2,000 in a few months – the same would be true with planes and ships. Factories were now shifting to a 24 hour/7-day a week work schedule for the duration of the war. Congress was to meet in weekend sessions in order to pass legislation. America was gearing up for War and not wasting any time over it.
Meanwhile, reports from Russia continued to give upbeat assessments with Soviet troop advancements all along the Eastern front. And further reports about the Japanese invasion of Luzon – much of the damage, it was learned, was done through the air. Military experts agreed that Japan had a much bigger air force than was originally thought and the use of fighter planes and bombers was much more effective in conducting a war. News on the situation in Hong Kong and Singapore were flooding in. Expulsion of American diplomats and reporters was now underway in both Berlin and Tokyo. In New York, a Federal Court jury convicted 14 accused Nazi spies of failing to register as foreign agents and of stealing American defense secrets and sending them to Berlin.
All that, and so much more for this December 13th in 1941 as supplied by newscasts from NBC Radio and WJZ in New York.