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Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

Newspaper echoed nation's reaction

Friday, December 7, 2001

SIKESTON - The bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred between issues for The Sikeston Standard which at the time was published only on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The Dec. 5 edition which came out the Friday before the attack on Pearl Harbor included an Associated Press story reporting the Nazis in "headlong retreat" from Soviet troops and a lull in North African fighting among British, German and Italian forces.

The front-page editorial column entitled "The P.C. Editor Says" advised "From the look of things the Russian Bear and the British Lion are ganging up a bit on the Nazi Wolf and we hope that the damage inflicted will be nothing minor. The United States is telling Japan where to head off from all surface indications. This policy must be maintained or we might as well give this nation back to the Indians."

The next paper - Tuesday's edition - proclaimed "Congress Declares War on Japan" across the top of the front page.

Front page articles reported 21-year-old Charles Condrad Branum, who was in Manila during the attacks there, as "the first Sikestonian to lose his life in the war with Japan ... believed to have been killed in the initial action by bombers Sunday" and provided a listing of Sikestonians serving in Far East war zones.

Headlines such as "Japanese Claim Sea Supremacy," "736 Japanese Aliens Arrested" and "Britain Declares War on Japan" shared the front page with a graphic showing "Far Eastern Hot Spots."

The P.C. Editor wrote, "We are 100 percent for the Roosevelt Administration and all that it stands for. Damn the Japs; damn Hitler and damn old Mussolini and all that the Axis stand for. Long live the democracies of the world, and God give strength to those fighting for the right."