Today they may have Tweeted: "Thousands dead in Hawaii after JP attack. Worst ever on homeland. FDR: US in it to win it."
But on Dec. 8, 1941, one day after the bloodiest attack on U.S. soil by a foreign country, news organizations attempted to make sense of it all. Far removed from the future 24/7 news cycle, the correspondents of the era had only bits and pieces of information from the Japanese assault on Hawaii and did their best to put it into a broader context. Looking back on the articles on the 69th anniversary, the stories are often unclear about exactly how the attack on the Pearl Harbor Naval Base happened. What was evident, however, was that it was destined to bring about another world war. Its conclusion remained unknown.
The New York Times — Dec. 8, 1941: The crash of exploding bombs in the Hawaiian Islands, Guam and possibly the Philippines, the roar of anti-aircraft guns and the twisted, flaming skeletons of wrecked planes heralded the war of the Pacific, with the principal antagonists the United States and Japan — a war that has been long brewing, a conflict often predicted but previously avoided. But the Japanese aggression yesterday did more than start a Pacific war. It broadened the conflicts already raging into a world-wide struggle whose end no man can know.
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