Washington DC Lady's reaction to Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941


By: Bruce D.

We are very lucky that the United States Library of Congress had the foresight to conduct “Man on the Street” Interviews” after the attack on Pearl Harbor. They recorded over 12 hours of reactions to the attack and to the declaration of war.

In this audio recording, the “Man on the Street” was a lady. The interviewer wanted a Washington DC Lady’s reaction to Pearl Harbor. Like many others interviewed, she felt that it was coming, but did not know when.

She shared the sentiments of many others from the recordings. One differing opinion is that she felt it would be a short war. Many others interviewed said they were expecting it to be a long war.

Throughout the “Man on the Street” interviews, everyone was positive about America’s ability to defeat Japan. Remember that they did not have the quantity of information available to them that Americans have today. They received their news from radio and newspapers.

Many interviewees were humble about their knowledge and quickly admit that they have not read the news. Nevertheless they showed patriotism.

This patriotism proved to be both positive and negative for the United States. It was patriotism, a feeling of superiority over other countries, that caught the United States off guard at times.

Nevertheless, her last statement was amusing and certainly shared by many at the time.

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