The following dispatches comprised the front page of the Albany Democrat-Herald, printed Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, when Albany did not otherwise publish on Sundays.
We begin with wire copy, followed by local war-related items. Corrections of spelling and language have been made where necessary (one can imagine the newsroom havoc); otherwise, the text remains as it ran.
Japanese fight bitterly, launch attack on U.S. base; Americans die
(United Press) Japan waged war against the United States Sunday, sending dive bombers, torpedo planes and parachute troops against the great American naval and air base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in a raid which apparently caused heavy damage and great loss of life.
It was said in Washington that there also had been reports of an attack on Manila. United Press dispatches direct from the Philippines reported "all quiet" there, however, and were timed after the Washington announcement.
The planes, clearly bearing the insignia of the rising sun, swarmed over the Hawaiian base, apparently from aircraft carriers at sea in a dawn attack. ...
London reports said a naval battle was in progress near Hawaii, with the Japanese fleet 3,400 miles from its home base and thus at a grave disadvantage against American defending warships.
First estimates of the number of Japanese planes in the attack ranged from 50 to 150. "Many" were reported shot down.
A preliminary report from Admiral C.C. Bloch [Claude C. Bloch], commander of the Hawaii naval district, expressed belief that "there has been heavy damage done in Hawaii and that there has been heavy loss of life," according to a White House announcement.
It was said in Washington there also had been reports of an attack on Manila, but United Press dispatches direct from the Philippines reported "all quiet" there after the Washington report.
Washington, Dec. 7 — Secretary of State Cordell Hull said tonight that Japan had made a "treacherous" attack upon the United States and he charged Japan with infamous conduct.
Washington, Dec. 7 — Reliable quarters said tonight antiaircraft fire and naval action had bagged six Japanese planes and four submarines in the Hawaiian action.
San Francisco, Dec. 7 — A short wave station picked up a Philippines broadcast today denying reports that Japanese planes attacked Manila.
The broadcast was heard about 3 p.m. PST.
American Army told to get into uniform
Washington, Dec. 7 (UP) — War Secretary [Henry] Stimson has ordered the entire United States army into uniform effective tomorrow.
Seattle, Dec. 7 — All officers and men of the 13th naval district were ordered to their stations today.
The order included all personnel of the inshore patrol and patrol wing No. 4, based at Sand Point naval air station, and Alaskan stations.
Los Angeles, Dec. 7 — All officers and men of the 11th naval district, comprising Southern California, were ordered today to report immediately to their ships or stations.
All army leaves also were cancelled in Southern California training bases.
Washington — Navy has imposed a censorship on all outgoing cablegrams and messages.
War exists, Japanese warn
New York, Dec. 7 — The Japanese Imperial headquarters has announced that a state of war exists with the United States, the NBC listening post in New York heard today.
New York, Dec. 7 — The United Press announces operation on a 24-hour schedule all of its leased [missing word] that it is ordering into wire circuits throughout the country. The order was given to the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. shortly after 2 p.m. to see that all newspaper and radio clients of the United Press, regardless of their normal hours of service, were hooked into the U.P. wire system immediately for "continuing service until further notice."
San Francisco, Dec. 7 — The fourth army, embracing all West Coast army commands including Alaska, announced today: "Our war plans are now in effect." Lieut. Gen. John L. DeWitt commands the fourth army, whose headquarters are at San Francisco.
All officers and men were ordered to their stations. No other details were given.
Shanghai, Dec. 7 — A naval battle is in progress "in the western Pacific," according to the Tokyo correspondent of the Japanese newspaper Osaka Mainichi. The correspondent credited the report to Japanese imperial headquarters.
New York, Dec. 7 — A Japanese carrier was seen off Honolulu today, according to a broadcast by the Panama radio heard by NBC.
Shanghai, Monday, Dec. 8 — Japanese marines took over the Bund — the waterfront in the international settlement — today after heavy gunfire was heard across the Huangpu River. A foreign gunboat, believed to be the HMS Peterel, a British ship, burned and sank nearby while Japanese planes patrolled over Shanghai.
Washington, Dec. 7 — A preliminary estimate of 104 dead and more than 300 wounded in the army forces alone at Oahu was given to the White House tonight by the army.
This figure represented only military casualties, giving no indication of the extent of civilian loss of life and injury.
Shanghai, Dec. 7 — Fears were felt here today for the safety of the American liner President Harrison, en route up the China coast.
2017 NOTE: Enemy aircraft and a mail boat called the Nagasaki Maru followed the President Harrison up the East China Sea, largely to keep it in sight. Ship captain Orel A. Pierson directed the liner toward Shaweishan Island in an attempt to sink or damage it beyond use. He managed to tear a 90-foot hole in the vessel, which nevertheless remained upright, floating toward and settling into a mud bank.
All 164 crew members abandoned ship; three men died when a propeller destroyed their lifeboat. The rest surrendered to Japanese soldiers on the island.
The captured President Harrison was repaired and renamed Kakko Maru, then Kachidoki Maru. An American submarine, the Pampanito, sank it in the Luzon Strait on Sept. 12, 1944.
Linn forces face crisis
County coordinator Carl Curlee has called for a meeting of all members of the Albany civil police guard under chairmanship of Chief of Police Perry Stellmacher at the Albany Chamber of Commerce at 6 tonight.
People of Linn County were asked tonight by Zed E. Merrill, Linn County defense council chairman, to keep cool but alert during this, America's greatest national emergency since 1917.
"We want everybody to be ready to do what he is told to do but we don't want any hysteria," Chairman Merrill said.
The chairman and county division chairmen were standing by for whatever action may be asked by state headquarters.
Many people in Hawaii known, related here
Mr. and Mrs. Webley Edwards. Mrs. Edwards was formerly Louise Mason, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R.E. Mason of Albany. The Masons received word today from their daughter containing the terse but reassuring word: "Don't worry about us. All OK." Mr. Edwards is an announcer on radio station KGMB.
Maxine Stenberg, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Stenberg of Albany. Miss Stenberg is a nurse in a Honolulu hospital.
Vic Groening, formerly of Albany, later of McMinnville, where his father is now a member of the Linfield college faculty. Vic Groening is a high school teacher in Honolulu.
Waldo Stratton, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Stratton, who is employed in a Honolulu shipyard.
Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Burns. Mr. Burns is affiliated with the Associated Press at the Honolulu bureau in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin office near where a Japanese bomb reputedly fell. Mrs. Burns is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Jackson [Jackson was one of the Democrat-Herald's editors and managers] of Albany and also a former Albany college student, as well as a graduate of the University of Oregon.
Mrs. Lona Locke, Corvallis, daughter of Mrs. James Nanney, Albany, now in Honolulu.
Other persons known in Albany or former residents include Marjorie Bilyeu, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Bilyeu, former resident of Albany; Mrs. Betty Sidall Cox, formerly a teacher of Lebanon and Wayne Hadley, Longview, nephew of Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Hadley.
Known here also are Mrs. Agnes Vance, sister of Mrs. Kenneth Bloom, who is principal of a school for children of U.S. military men, army and navy, at Pearl Harbor, established last fall; Jeanette Browning, another sister of Mrs. Bloom, who is teaching home economics at Maui high school on the island of Maui.
Dr. Arnold Hoflich, formerly of Albany, was in Hawaii but is now in Washington, D.C.
Can't phone Honolulu
Efforts to obtain direct information on the various activities in Honolulu resulting from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor were unavailable at midafternoon Sunday following a telephone call made by W.L. Jackson to his son-in-law, Eugene Burns of the Associated Press bureau, where Hawaiian offices are maintained in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin's building.
Burns, formerly a special writer with the Star-Bulletin, and for the past year one of the Associated Press bureau staff writers, could not be reached by telephone as all calls were either cut off or delayed, according to the local telephone operator.
2017 NOTE: According to the 2007 book "Breaking News, How the Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace and Everything Else," AP Honolulu bureau chief Eugene Burns was actually eating breakfast at home when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
He immediately called the operator, who connected him to the San Francisco office. "At least five planes," Burns began, "bearing the insignia of the Rising Sun, flew over Honolulu today and dropped bombs."
The connection was then lost, his dispatch never filed. News of the devastation did not reach the wire service for another hour.
That evening, in Albany, Linn County Civil Defense Council chairman Zed E. Merrill and coordinator Carl Curlee issued a call for more volunteers — lots of them, in fact. "If you haven't registered, you'll have a chance to do so now," Curlee said. "And believe me, we'll need you."
More than 2,400 Americans, civilians and military, perished at Pearl Harbor. The following day, an impassioned President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed Congress, and, hence, the nation, via radio in what has come to be known as the "Infamy" speech (text here). An hour later, the U.S. formally declared war on Japan, officially entering World War II.