History Department Acquires Original Newspaper from Pearl Harbor Attack

On December 7th, 1941, Japanese aircraft bombed a US naval base outside of Honolulu, Hawaii. The attack came at around 8:00 a.m. and was a complete surprise, ultimately costing over 2,400 Americans their lives.

Notably, the bombing of Pearl Harbor served as the catalyst for US involvement in World War II. In fact, on December 8th, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to officially declare war on Japan. In his famous speech that day, FDR called December 7th a “date that will live in infamy”.

The story of Pearl Harbor is known across the world. Historians have been studying the event for the past 76 years, and it has been the subject of countless books, films, and stories.

This year, Kathleen Noonan generously gifted a stack of original newspapers to the TCU History Department in honor of Dr. Richard L. Noonan, who served in the Navy from 1941 to 1945. One of the newspapers is dated December 7th, 1941, and was published in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The front page of the paper proclaims “War! Oahu Bombed By Japanese Planes”. Below, there is a small death count and numerous speculations about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Interestingly enough, the rest of the newspaper reads as if it was any ordinary day in 1940’s Hawaii. From gossip columns to tobacco advertisements, each page stands in stark juxtaposition to the next and presents a stunning historical look into the date that now lives in infamy.

Jodi Campbell is the current Chair of the history department and the recipient of the newspaper donation. She said that she is currently looking at options to display this newspaper, along with the rest of the collection.