Responding to reports

On alert: Every rumor and false sighting only increased the anxiety.

America On Alert – San Diego And Los Angeles Brace For Attacks – December 12, 1941

Responding to reports
On alert: Every rumor and false sighting only increased the anxiety.

December 12, 1941 – Esso Newsreel and various reports from NBC Blue and Red Networks – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

December 12, 1941 – five days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and news of an expanded war in the Pacific, reports of new clashes and bombings of Manila along with reports of sightings of unidentified aircraft over San Diego and Los Angeles California put the west coast on alert. Blackouts and evacuations of school-age children in many eastern cities, along with a report that the Alaskan city of Anchorage would be blacked out at night was to continue throughout the war. All in all, America was undergoing a general feeling of anxiety and a new national obsession for knowing what was going on all the time. Even broadcasting was now shifting to news bulletins; breaking in on programs on a regular basis to report the latest assaults on Islands throughout the Pacific. Work hours were adjusted and cities were routinely blacked-out in case some of those rumored sightings proved true.

But America was a relative newcomer to this war – there were still reports coming in from Europe of Russian victories on the Eastern front, and that only bolstered optimism that maybe the war would be a short one.

Despite rumors and the nation on alert, news reports were stressing the upbeat – Pravda was quoted as saying over 1,000 German officers and troops were killed and 28 towns were recaptured in Russia during the past few days. Pravda also went on to roundly condemn Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor and the invasion of Singapore. Reports from the Navy confirmed that a Japanese battleship had been badly damaged and put out of commission. Reports did, however confirm that a Japanese invasion force landed on the Philippine Island of Luzon and that they were strengthening their positions.

An endless barrage of news, speculation and alerts – as it would be for the duration, but as it was relatively new for this December 12, 1941 as reported by NBC Red and Blue networks.

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