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December 9, 1941 – Two days after the events at Pearl Harbor and our plunge into World War 2. News bulletins flashed every few seconds – the networks went 24 hours – new as well as fears took front and center as the reports were anything but optimistic. News that, shortly after the attack on the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, an attack had been launched against The Philippines and that Manila was in the process of being bombed as a breathless newscaster delivered the dramatic eyewitness account. Further news suggested a Japanese Aircraft Carrier was parked somewhere near San Francisco and that reconnaissance planes were spotted flying over the West Coast. Air raid sirens were going off in New York, as rumors spread of German bombers heading to Manhattan. Japanese, German and Italian nationals were being rounded up and detained in jails all over the country, but mostly in cities dotting the east coast. Chinese reporters were wearing signs proclaiming they were Chinese and not Japanese as waves of paranoia over suspected terrorist acts were on the increase.
Two days into this new series of events and America was busy wrapped in fears and jumping to conclusions. President Roosevelt had declared a Declaration of War the day before and rumors were rife that Germany and Italy would reciprocate with their own declarations over the coming days. Military service recruiting stations were filled to overflow with young men clamoring to enlist. Everyone involved with Civil Defense in every city and town across America was busy either training for the invasion or busy looking out for it.
To give you some idea of the emotional state our Country was in at the time, here is a two hour extract of news for that day – every bulletin, eyewitness account and editorial. Every rumored sighting – every call for precaution, every alarm and every shred of news, verified and unverified, just as it happened on December 9, 1941 via NBC Radio.