December 7, 1941 - Pearl Harbor
On Monday I, at the age of seventeen, was a freshman in college. At 8:00 AM I was in English class awaiting the arrival of our professor, Dr. Standsbury. He entered and announced that Japan had brazenly attacked Pearl Harbor with a huge air strike. Stunned but more confused I really did not understand why this happened. In my last two years in high school we had weekly class for an hour in current events and I was able to follow Hitler in every step he took in Europe. Added to this was the fact that as a family, at supper time my folks discussed the news in newspapers. We also listened to Lowell Thomas, the news commentator. Yet, throughout all of these events I seldom heard anything that was happening in the Pacific area. I had no knowledge as to why this sneak attack, which killed and wounded over 3600 of us, happened. This followed me to my enlistment in the army within a year. In my previous writing this Japanese mystique followed me throughout the war. I wanted no part of this Pacific War, and in fact, turned down promotions to avoid it. After the two wars ended I had no desire to read any of the dozens of books about our fighting. I personally had enough. I did note somewhere that in the thirties Franklin Roosevelt did place an oil embargo on Japan. Why, I did not know. Only four years ago I read a book entitled The Imperial Cruise, by James Bradley, whose Marine father was one of the men pictured raising the flag on Iwo Jima. Finally, finally, I got a full insight as to why we were attacked at Pearl Harbor. Historically, the Japs were war Mongers. They had a war with Russia, then fought the Koreans and invaded China. Teddy Roosevelt detested yellow skin and looked upon all Asians as uncivilized, just as the American Indians. He felt very strongly that we should rule the Asian nations on the Pacific Rim. He went about this by arranging the Imperial Cruise to the following places – Hawaii, Japan, The Philippines, China and Korea. This cruise in 1905 was the largest diplomatic mission in American history. When Howard Taft (future president) was chosen to be the leader, Taft, on Roosevelt’s behalf, negotiated a series of totally unconstitutional agreements that laid the ground-work for American Pacific engagement, and our war with Japan. These illicit pacts were eventually erased from the text books. Poor Franklin suffered from actions taken by Teddy, his kin.