A Date that will Live

Today in 1941, as America’s Pacific fleet lay in ruins at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt requests, and receives, a declaration of war against Japan. “Yesterday,” the president proclaimed, “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 10-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. War is also declared upon Japan by British, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the Free French, several South American countries. China declares war upon 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.

Last Friday we received our signed Proclamation and Citation from our Oklahoma Governor reflecting that the Saturday before “The Day of Infamy 7 December” is Ken M. Taylor Day in Oklahoma previously declared by our Hominy Mayor Fairweather and City Council. Ken Taylor was our local boy who was the first combat pilot to shoot down a Japanese Zero at the Attack on Pearl Harbor. We played the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! last Saturday evening at the Hominy Community Center and it was well attended by our Post and a few good Hominy citizens. Thanks to Jimmie Ratliff for bringing Brig. Gen Taylor’s Command Cap to our display. Those items remain on display until Christmas in the lobby of City Hall. The Governor’s document will be displayed on a permanent basis at American Legion Post 142 as a testament to the love of country and patriotism of Hominy’s veterans. 

Don’t forget! The Legion-Auxiliary Christmas Dinner December 15th will begin at 6 PM Thursday evening.  Chicken Noodle fundraiser luncheon will be Friday December 16th. 11 AM till 1 PM. The big Christmas Parade will be on Saturday evening December 17th at 6 PM. And Friday night December 9th the outstanding Bucks football team travels to Choctaw going for State against Wynnewood. Go BUCKS!

The Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings for December Monday’s (updates may be pending) are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy 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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