Newstand - Dec. 7, 1941

America at War: As the day went on, the news sank in.

America At War – Day After Infamy – December 8, 1941

Newstand - Dec. 7, 1941
America At War: As the day went on, the news sank in.

News – Bulletins – December 8, 1941 – NBC Red and Blue Network – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

America was officially at war – December 8, 1941 saw President Roosevelt deliver his Day Of Infamy address and an official declaration of war was voted on and unanimously (with one dissenting vote) approved. And within hours it became World War 2.

Hard for many to imagine the world would be plunged into another war, only 25 years after the last one – the one loudly proclaimed to be The War That Ended All Wars. Further evidence memories can be short and assurances can be flimsy. And it was noted there were more countries declaring states of war than in 1917; up from 25 to 31, including many Latin American countries. And more to come.

The fever spread from coast to coast, across America and Canada – Army and Navy recruiting stations were jammed to overflowing – for once doing turn-away business. And with the clamor to enlist also came waves of fear, particularly from the West Coast, where sightings of bombers were made and reports of ships approaching points north and south, poised to attack were phoned in via overwhelmed telephone lines. Cities were plunged into darkness as millions of homes and businesses from Vancouver to Long Beach went into emergency blackout mode. Civil Defense workers were urgently called and told to report for duty immediately.

And even before the damage and casualty totals were finalized the fingers of blame began to fly all over Capitol Hill. Calls for the immediate court-martial of at least five Generals and Admirals in charge of the Pearl Harbor base and outlying facilities were made. An immediate investigation was to be set up in an attempt to find out who was “asleep at the wheel” along with questions as to why so much of the Pacific fleet was anchored in one place and at one time were at the top of the agenda.

And the decision was made to keep all radio Networks open with broadcasting to start on a 24 hour basis. Hourly reports and bulletins as they happened took precedence over regularly scheduled programs.

America was at war now and it was starting to sink in.

Here is over an hour’s worth of NBC Radio with news and bulletins as the occurred on this December 8, 1941.

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