What did Christensen write about "the date that will live in infamy," December 7, 1941 and its immediate results?
|National Archives photograph|
We were electrified today when it was announced from Washington after 2 o'clock that Japanese aeroplanes had attacked the United States Naval base in Hawaian Islands and Honolulu.
For weeks Japan and the U.S. have been trying to find some common approach that would make grounds for peace, but without much success. Their views were too far apart. Now without the least warning a severe attack was taken, apparently for the purpose of destroying as much of our fleet as possible, much as they did to the Russians nearly forty years ago. (This is a reference to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905.)
Monday, December 8, 1941
The reports from Hawaii are sketchy and incomplete. The Japanese claim they destroyed two battleships, an aeroplane carrier and hit numerous other warships. Washington says one of the older battleships was damaged so badly that she capsized. One destroyer blew up and several other vessels were damaged while 3000 casualties included 1500 killed. Many aeroplanes destroyed. (The official count of casualties and damages from the United States Navy put the death toll at 2500.)
|Biographical Directory of the US Congress|
Tuesday, December 9, 1941
At 10 this evening the President talked to the country by Radio. It was hoped he would give more details or to the attack on Hawaii, but he told little about that. The losses our fleet sustained appear to have been serious.
|US Navy photograph|
England's Battleship Prince of Wales one of her largest, newest and finest and her battle cruiser Repulse have been sunk by Japanese aeroplanes. The Japanese are driving at the Malaya Peninsula and is landing troops in the Philipines. ...
Thursday, December 11
... Hilter and Mossilini [sic] each made grandiloquent speeches to their people today stating that the United States had forced Japan to declare war on us. Thus we were the agressor [sic] and in consequence they were bound by their treaty to come to the aid of their ally and declared war on us. Whereon the United States and House of Representatives within a few minutes of being informed by the President of this action of Germany and Italy unanimously acted to declair [sic] war in turn on those countries.
Sunday, December 14, 1941
After one week of war we are still without information on the extent of the damaged [sic] inflicted on our fleet in Hawaii by the Japs last Sunday. Except for that they do not seem to have made much head way. Attempts to land forces in the Philipines do not seem to be making much progress. Their attacks on the British in at Hong Kong and on the Maylay peninsular [sic] also seem to be making little progress. On the other hand we have not struck back at yet.
|National Parks Service photograph|
To read more about the initial days of American's involvement in World War II as understood by Frederick Holmes Christensen, visit the Beaufort District Research Room and ask for volume 12.
To discover Elvis Presley's connection to Pearl Harbor, read "5 Facts about Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona." The USS Arizona Memorial was authorized by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958; it was formally dedicated on Memorial Day in 1962.