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This Day In Norwood History-December 8

Congress Votes War

“God Bless Our Efforts”

December 8, 1941 – The Norwood Messenger

Text of a prepared statement issued at noon today to all Norwood residents by Harry B. Butters, chairman of the Board of Selectmen.

“War is upon us. That fact and the manner in which the first blow has been struck, together with the extent of our preparedness today as compared with two years ago, is significant evidence to those of us who may have thought otherwise that we are blessed with the leadership of a truly great leader, President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The events of yesterday proved the possibility of an air attack at a distance of 3000 miles or more.

“We, in Norwood, are fortunate in having in out- community a group of trained teachers ready and willing to teach our citizens the fundamentals of air raid precaution.

“I cannot speak for the Norwood Safety Council, but I know that they will do all within their power to prepare us for any emergency. May all factional differences end. God bless our efforts.”

Bill Ready For President’s O. K.

Resolution Passes Both Houses In 90 Minutes

Carrying out the request of President Roosevelt made in a 500-word message a short time before the United States Congress today adopted a resolution declaring that a state of war has existed between the United States and Japan since December 7, 1941. Unity characterized the 82-0 vote for war in the Senate. The House of Representatives began its roll call vote at 1 p.m. and approved the resolution by a vote of 388 to 1. In his brief war message delivered to a joint session of Congress at 12.30 today, President Roosevelt paved the way for the resolution in both branches of Congress which followed. The President summarized events in the Pacific during the last 24 hours declaring that “the whole nation will always remember the character of the onslaught against us.” The declaration of war was expected to be ready for the President’s signature at 4.30 today.

Bombs from .Japan made war in the United States today, and as the dealh tolls mounted, President Roosevelt announced be would deliver in person today a special message to Congress.

In the background as the commander-in-chief went before the joint session of the House and Senate was a government report of “heavy” naval and “large” losses to the Army.

Whether Mr. Roosevelt will ask for a formal declaration of war by this country, to match the action taken in Tokyo, was left uncertain after a hurriedly summoned meeting of his cabinet and Congressional leaders of both parties last night at the White House. Also uncertain was whether that declaration might extend to Japan’s Axis allies, Germany and Italy.

QUICK ACTION EXPECTED

It was made clear, however, that Congress would be requested to adopt a resolution of some nature, anu equally clear that it would quickly give its approval. A re quest for governmental power equivalent to that under a war declaration was expected as a minimum.

War came suddenly to the United States early yesterday afternoon. Without warning, and while Japanese diplomats were still conducting negotiations for peace> the Japanese air force struck at Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, and Hickam Field, all in the Hawaiian Islands.

Soon afterward, Japanese bombs were raining upon Guam and, later, portions of the Philippines were attacked.

As quickly as word of the first bursting bomb was received, the President, as commander-in-chief, called upon Ine Army and Navy to repel the attack. Far in advance of any action which Congress may take’today, the United Stales was lighting an attack.

Tokyo later announced its declaration of war on this country and Great Britain. The British Parliament was called into special session for this afternoon.

ISOLATIONISTS FOR WAR

Quickly, many of the discordant elements .which have been bickering over foreign policy for months united in a solid front of support for the war. Sen. Wheeler. (D.) of Montana, issued a statement declaring his support, and Gen. Robert Wood, rnairman of the America First Committee, made a similar declaration.

At the same time, the other republics of this hemisphere were rallying to the support of the United States. Canada declared war on Japan and so did Costa Rica. Mexico unhesitatingly ranged itself beside its northern neighbor.

All the nations of the continent were officially informed of Japan’s “treacherous attack” and tne State Department reported a heartening number of immediate sympathetic responses .

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