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Mon Apr 20, 2020, 08:52 PM

"I Have Not Felt This Way Since WW2": Memories of Dec. 7, 1941, FDR Radio Chats: Daily Kos Poster

- "I Have Not Felt This Way Since WW2, Updates x 2" Daily Kos, April 18, 2020.

Sitting on the couch watching Rachel Maddow post chart after chart about the progression of the Covid-19 virus, the memory hole sent me spiraling. It was not a good feeling at all. In a flash of Déjà vu, events of long ago winters came rushing back. Not an intellectual exercise, but an emotional one. An experiential punch to the gut.

How I got to this place and time is a long story….

I was born during the Great Depression, but remember little of it. I do remember the afternoon of December 7, 1941. It was Sunday, and my dad was at work. His work was next to our house and I often dropped in. Everyone was gathered around the polished walnut cabinet of the huge Stromberg-Carlson radio console. I sat on the floor in front of the big radio. The breathless announcer kept repeating, “They stabbed our boys in the back!”

We were at war. A few weeks before, on October 1, 1941, a German submarine had sunk the American destroyer Reuben James. They got away with that cold blooded murder by attributing it to an “accident and mistaken identity.”

There was no way to ignore the Pearl Harbor attack. America was at War.

The war had a head start in Europe and Asia as the Japanese and Germans expanded their empires. We had managed to stay out of it so far, but isolationism ended with a gigantic crash that Sunday in December.

- Attack On Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 8am Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941.

In the ensuing days, the news was non-stop. Patriotic songs were written and sung. There were long lines at the Army and Navy recruitment offices.

President Franklin Roosevelt talked to the nation in what he called Fireside Chats. They really were that. He had a soothing way of speaking; gentle, but still firm and fatherly. He told the nation what we needed to hear, calling all able-bodied citizens to participate in the war effort, to the extent of our abilities.

I walked all over town, talking people out of their old pots and pans. Aluminum was prized. Rubber as well. The photo at the right could very well have been me, lugging old tires and inner tubes to the collection place.

We started buying war bond stamps and pasting them into little booklets. It was all a kid could do. There was no school cafeteria, so I could not contribute lunch money. We took our own sandwiches in bags. Our brown paper lunch sacks were folded carefully and brought home each day so they could be reused until they were worn out. Then they were placed in a bigger sack to be taken to a paper collection place once the large bag was full of waste paper.

Those early days of the war, it was not at all clear whether America had a chance to win it. Much of our Navy rested at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. The Army Air Corps was a shambles at the time with obsolete and obsolescent planes. Our best fighters were hardly a match for the deadly Japanese Zero and German Messerschmitt fighters. Something had to be done, but we were starting from very near scratch.

Those were dark days. The London Blitz was in every news report. The fall of Poland and France had happened already. Ships were being sunk by the dozens in the North Atlantic. I recall the blackouts and air raid drills. We knew the Germans were working on long range bombers that could reach New York and Washington DC. The Japanese managed to send bomb-carrying balloons which reached the US mainland. We also thought the Japanese had plans to invade the US west coast, just as they had invaded China and the Philippines. That they had designs on New Zealand and Australia was public knowledge. We would be next....

Read More, https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/4/18/1937658/-I-have-not-felt-this-way-since-WW2

- Rubber recycling for the war effort, two American boys collect tires and household items for reuse.

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Reply "I Have Not Felt This Way Since WW2": Memories of Dec. 7, 1941, FDR Radio Chats: Daily Kos Poster (Original post)
appalachiablue Apr 2020 OP
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2020 #1
appalachiablue Apr 2020 #2
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2020 #3

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 08:59 PM

1. How hard would it have been for Daily Kos to have found an actual picture of Pearl Harbor,

rather than a scene from a movie?

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:08 PM

2. This what you get out of the diary? You know Kos selected the pic?

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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:54 PM

3. "Yes" to both. The guy goes on and on about how dark those days were, and then

he pulls out a CGI version of Pearl Harbor from 2000, give or take. Your picture is a lot more evocative of the enormity of the attack.

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