AP WAS THERE: 75 years ago, the AP reported on Pearl Harbour

2016-12-07 18:50
In this December 7 1941 photo made available by the US Navy, a small boat rescues a seaman from the USS West Virginia burning in the foreground in Pearl Harbour. (US Navy via AP, File)

In this December 7 1941 photo made available by the US Navy, a small boat rescues a seaman from the USS West Virginia burning in the foreground in Pearl Harbour. (US Navy via AP, File)

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Honolulu - On December 7 1941, as Japanese bombs rained down on Pearl Harbour, The Associated Press' chief of bureau in Honolulu, Eugene Burns, was unable to get out the urgent news of the historic attack that would draw the US into World War II.

The military had already taken control of all communication lines, so Burns was left without a line to the outside world.

In Washington, AP editor William Peacock and staff got word of the attack from then president Franklin D Roosevelt's press secretary.

In the language and style used by journalists of his era, including the use of a disparaging word to describe the Japanese that was in common use, Peacock dictated the details of the announcement. Seventy-five years after their original publication, the AP is re-publishing these dispatches.

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FLASH

WASHINGTON - White House says Japs attack Pearl Harbor.

BULLETIN

WASHINGTON - President Roosevelt said in a statement today that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, from the air.

The attack of the Japanese also was made on all naval and military "activities" on the island of Oahu.

The president's brief statement was read to reporters by Stephen Early, presidential secretary. No further details were given immediately.

At the time of the White House announcement, the Japanese ambassadors, Kichisaburo Nomura and Saburo Kurusu, were at the State Department.

---

FLASH

WASHINGTON - Second air attack reported on Army and Navy bases in Manila.

#

First lead Japanese

WASHINGTON - Japanese air attacks on the American naval stronghold at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and on defense facilities at Manila were announced today by the White House.

-2-

Only this terse announcement came from President Roosevelt immediately, but with it there could be no doubt that the Far Eastern situation had at last exploded, that the United States was at war, and that the conflict which began in Europe was spreading over the entire world.

This disclosure had been accepted generally as an indication this country had all but given up hope that American-Japanese difficulties, arising from Japan's aggression in the Far East, could be resolved by ordinary diplomatic procedure.

#

BULLETIN

Second lead Japanese

WASHINGTON - Japanese airplanes today attacked American defense bases at Hawaii and Manila, and President Roosevelt ordered the Army and Navy to carry out undisclosed orders prepared for the defense of the United States.

Announcing the president's action for the protection of American territory, Presidential Secretary Stephen Early declared that so far as is known now the attacks were made wholly without warning - when both nations were at peace - and were delivered within an hour or so of the time that the Japanese ambassador had gone to the State Department to hand to the secretary of state Japan's reply to the secretary's memo of the 26th.

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