Rising from the Ashes of Ambush

“News from the Hut”
for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
by Gary Lanham

December 8th, 1941. As America’s Pacific fleet lay in ruins at Pearl Harbor President Franklin Roosevelt requests, and receives, a declaration of war against Japan. Leaning heavily on the arm of his son James, a Marine captain, FDR walked haltingly into the House of Representatives at noon to request a declaration of war from the House and address the nation via radio.

“Yesterday,” the President declared, “December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.” Roosevelt’s ten minute speech, ending with an oath “So help us God “was greeted in the House by thunderous applause and stamping of feet. Within one hour, the president had his declaration of war, with only one dissenting vote, from a pacifist in the House.

FDR signed the declaration at 4:10 p.m., wearing a black armband to symbolize mourning for those lost at Pearl Harbor. On both coasts, civilian defense groups were mobilized. In California, antiaircraft batteries were set up on Long Beach and the Hollywood Hills. Reports on supposed spy activity on the part of Japanese Americans began pouring into Washington, even as Japanese Americans paid for space in newspapers to declare unreservedly their loyalty to the United States.

War is also declared upon Japan by British, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the Free French, several South American countries. China also declared war on Germany, Italy, and Japan. The latter is a formal declaration only as a de facto state of war has existed between China and Japan for 7 years. Montanan Jeanette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress and a dedicated lifelong pacifist, casts the sole Congressional vote against the U.S. declaration of war on Japan. One bit of information our Post Commander reminded me of was that 1LT Kenneth Taylor of Hominy who was the first American on that day to get airborne and shoot down a Jap Zero plane over Pearl Harbor that day.

Events like this remind us to always remain diligent. We had not been at war for some time and our military was allowed to weaken and leadership became complacent. A strong military has always been a deterrent for tyrants. The usual excuse is the impact on a poor economy. Sound familiar?

We still have a raffle on-going for the $100 worth of Wild Country meat. Tickets are $1.00 each or 6/$5.00 for tickets. We will hold the drawing for the $100 worth of meat from Wild Country on December 17th and extend the raffle until that time.

The annual Legion-Auxiliary Christmas Dinner will be held on Friday December 11th at 6:00pm at the Legion Hut. The Legion will be cooking a ham and the Auxiliary will bring sides and desserts. Legion members were asked to help out by bringing sides and desserts also. The Auxiliary will be cleaning the Hut on Monday. I will arrive ready for food and fellowship, remembering the Reason for the Season.

So I suppose you got the word the Christmas parade was postponed till 6:30 PM 19 December. The Hut will be in full force. I am hoping old Bessie (1973 Army Jeep) can make the change of date and will be broadcasting Christmas tunes. Watch the front page our beloved Hominy News-Progress for updates!

Don’t forget our regular meetings continue the first and third Thursdays of the month at 7:00 PM (December 17th). Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings in December are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy and maybe a waffle or two and always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). Keep your eye on the weather in case things have to be postponed. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.

 

About Gary Lanham

Authors the weekly article "News from the Hut", about local American Legion Post #142 in Hominy, OK. Read his weekly articles in the "Hominy News Progress".
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