25
"I Slept Like a Baby"

Neither Edward R. Murrow nor Eric Sevareid, the CBS radio commentators, was surprised by the day. They had seen too many similar events firsthand in Europe over the past two or three years. Sevareid had begun the day with a visit from Phil Potter, an editor on the Baltimore Sun who had been in school with Sevareid at the University of Minnesota. A neighbor rushed over, tapped on Sevareid's window, and told him to turn on the radio. He did so, then rushed off to the White House press room, where he was to give some of the most reasoned, accurate, and sensitive radio reports of that long, long day.

That evening Edward R. Murrow had been invited to join the Roosevelts and Hopkinses for dinner. Given the circumstances, Murrow called Mrs. Roosevelt and offered to cancel. She would not hear of it. "We have to eat anyway," she reasoned. So Murrow ate with them and late that night went back to the CBS office, where Sevareid was working on his last broadcast of the day. Murrow said that Roosevelt was especially upset over having American planes destroyed on the ground instead of in the air, and kept repeating his disbelief that the Japanese caught them on the ground both in Hawaii and in the Philippines.

"What did you think when you saw that crowd staring through the White House fence?" Murrow asked Sevareid.

"They reminded me of the crowds around the Quai d'Orsay a couple of years ago," Sevareid replied, remembering Paris when the Germans invaded France.

"That's what I was thinking," Murrow agreed, remembering the months

-166-

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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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