14
War Comes to the Football Game

If it is possible to point to an instant when everything changed, then 7:55 A.M. Honolulu time was such an instant. It was 10:25 on the West Coast, 11:25 in the Rocky Mountains, 12:25 in the Midwest, and 1:25 on the East Coast. History paused for a heartbeat, stumbled, then resumed its measured pace. America no longer had its innocence. It was the new, reluctant member of the nonexclusive club of nations that had been attacked by a foreign power.

One of the first broadcasts of the news came from NBC, which read an announcement from its affiliate KGU, in Honolulu. Across America radio programs were interrupted to announce the attack. Many people remember listening to Shostakovich's First Symphony being played by the New York Philharmonic when they first heard the news. An announcer broke in, then the orchestra continued playing the Russian's tense, sometimes strident music. On the West Coast the three major networks were broadcasting "Chicago Round Table" (NBC Red), "The World Today" (CBS), and "Swingtime Strings" (Mutual). Unaffiliated stations were carrying religious programs or professional football games.

The Honolulu correspondent was reasonably calm in his announcement:

"We have witnessed this morning the attack of Pearl Harbor and the severe bombing of Pearl Harbor by army planes that are undoubtedly Japanese. The city of Honolulu has also been attacked and considerable damage done. This battle has been going on for nearly three hours. One of the bombers dropped within fifty feet of Tanti Towers. It's no joke--

-105-

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The Day the War Began
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction: Saturday, December 6, 1941 1
  • 1 - The First Shot 21
  • 2 - The Americans Fight Back 27
  • 3 - Adventures of the Henley 43
  • 4 - Game Called Due to War 49
  • 5 - View from the Cane Fields 53
  • 6 - Friendly Fire 61
  • 7 - Chinese-American Family 66
  • 8 - Hell on a Sunshiny Day 70
  • 9 - The Military Takes Over Hawaii 77
  • 10 - Niihau Fights Back 82
  • 11 - The Saga of the Pacific Clipper 86
  • 12 - The Forgotten Attack 93
  • 13 - On the Home Front 97
  • 14 - War Comes to the Football Game 105
  • 15 - The Delayed Message 114
  • 16 - The White House Prepares for War 120
  • 17 - War Becomes a Reality 124
  • 18 - Extra! Extra! 132
  • 19 - Strange New Words 135
  • 20 - Sudden Heroes 142
  • 21 - The Mating Dance Continues 149
  • 22 - The Nation Unifies 154
  • 23 - Hawaii's Longest Night 157
  • 24 - Defending the East Coast 162
  • 25 - I Slept Like a Baby 166
  • Bibliography 169
  • Index 173
  • About the Author 181
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