Sunday, December 6, 2009

Air Raid Pearl Harbor X This Is Not A Drill

Today is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and commemorates the sixty-eighth anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The events of that day would become a seminal event in American history. America lost some of her innocence that day. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt rightly called this a "day that will live in infamy". Archives play a role in our remembrance of Pearl Harbor and World War II. The image is a broadside created in 1942 by Allen Sandburg issued by the Office of War Information in Washington D. C., and is courtesy of the U. S. Naval Historical Center. The quotation is from Lincoln's Gettysburg address.

The National Archives (NARA) has digitized many of the images and documents related to Pearl Harbor and World War II. By searching NARA's Archival Research Catalog (ARC) for digital copies at: one can find images of the attack and its aftermath. Included are the familiar images and those of battleships that had rolled upside down due to damage being righted. Documents include the famous Air Raid Pearl Harbor X This is not a drill radio message. The Library of Congress American Memory Today in History page
has numerous links to documents and sources. These sources include man on the street interviews that were conducted on December 8, 1941 to capture the public's initial reaction to the bombing. The Library of Congress also has a Veteran's History Project that preserves oral history interviews with World War II veterans' and those of latter wars

The Oregon State Archives has on online exhibit that features the experience of the Willamette University football team at Pearl Harbor . The team was in Hawaii to play a post-season game. They had played the previous day and were waiting for a sightseeing tour of the island when the attack occurred. I will not tell the whole story, but the team was inducted into the Army and placed on sentry duty, and did make it back to Oregon.

So as we remember those who gave all today remember to search the archives for their stories.

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