The Charlotte News

Tuesday, December 16, 1941


Site Ed. Note: The first piece, "Bad, Yet...", speaks of the report from Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox to the President, presented the day before, which we set forth on December 11. Figures on the dead were still preliminary and the figure indicated would be considerably reduced, to 2,390, with nearly 1,200 injured. The "ah, masters" of the piece is a leaf right out of Cash, a phrase used a couple of other times in the column since Cash's death July 1.

While we find it a bit uneasy to agree with Westbrook Pegler about anything, he is correct in his praise of Raymond Clapper's pieces leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Of course, we would be remiss were we not to point out that Cash had been accurately predicting such a possibility of attack by the Japanese as far back as 1937. And that The News editorials were accurately predicting such an attack as far back as August, and with eery accuracy as to how it might occur, even if their prediction of a short war, lasting a couple of months, was to prove woefully wrong. But, we assume, Mr. Pegler, or "Peg" as Hugh Johnson affectionately referred to him, did not read such a liberal rag as The News. (Actually, in truth, we know little more of Mr. Pegler than that he protested a bit too much.)

"A hand across the sea..." to Russia, says Dorothy Thompson, in praise of their valiant effort at pushing back the Nazis from Moscow in the counter-offensive of Georgi Zhukov begun with a million and a half men on December 6. And that extension of the hand was well-deserved, as the fate of the world had for the previous six months hung on the valor of these stalwart Russians defending their homeland against the invader. It is too bad that the post-war spirit could not continue to breed such conviviality. Had Hitler vanquished Russia quickly, as he had predicted, then the world for some long period of time afterward may have looked quite different--and our freedoms, as Mr. Clapper points out, would likely have been completely destroyed. As Ms. Thompson states, it took Hitler and Tojo to forge an alliance between the unlikely compadres, Britain, the U.S., Russia, and China. Once the common threat to these countries' mutual security was gone, things quickly reverted to the pre-war mold of distrust and stalemated aggression, at least with respect to Russia.

The front page, and its continuation page, indicate that things appeared to be heading in the right direction on Luzon. That news would be reversed in the coming weeks.

The front page also informs that even the weather reports were curtailed by order of Washington for the sake of national defense. As we suggested, the whole country suddenly took on the countenance of a military base.

The first stories from the attack on Pearl Harbor also begin to appear, both the eyewitness account on the front page and the piece on page eight. The tone of these stories already, just nine days after the attack, sound as legend.

And since "Perspective" speaks to the matter of whether it was fitting to play the college bowl games in light of the war, we offer up the sports page of this date as well, focusing on the upcoming Rose Bowl in Durham between the Blue Devils and the Beavers. (Sorry, we sometimes confuse them with the Ducks.)

Good night, and good luck.

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