81st Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Today is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. This year marks the 81st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor that led to the United States entering World War II. My essay, A Forgotten Milestone: Television and Pearl Harbor examines how a pair of television stations in New York City reported news of the attack.

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5 Replies to “81st Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor”

  1. At the time most people considered television to be an expensive novelty, so when the country was attacked did anyone think to turn on the television receiver, when radio was the reliable source for breaking news? Since it would be many years before television stations would begin to turn a profit no one at the stations had to worry about viewership, so the main concern would have been on how to come up with ways to help anyone who decided to tune in see what was happening. Maps were a great idea. I’m sure many people didn’t know just where Japan or the Hawaiian Islands were located. Fascinating story.

    1. I’m not so sure the goal was to attract viewers as much as it was to experiment with what types of programming could be offered and the production techniques to bring them to air. And to produce “firsts” that could be used to promote television to a general audience – “This is what you’re missing if you don’t have a tv!”

      When Pearl Harbor was invaded, they didn’t know that tv would essentially be almost shut down for the duration of the War. I’m sure they wanted to try this since, if tv wasn’t shut down, they might be doing a lot of broadcasts like this during the War.

  2. our wired age gives the final proof of relativity,,,,,,*, since your scoop of a few years past,,,,9/11 happened soley due to careless managements and attitudes….. SO .by careful re=examinings….. just like the ones we are holding right here,,,, can never hurt of course,, so do keep up this detective work..!

  3. in hindsight,, since the opposite side of the coin started october 30th 1938…with THE WAR OF THE WORLDS,,…..such legend was a unique momemntious and irripeatable moment in tech history,,,butj IT DID SELL MORE RADIOs.!!. for over a generation.. its been dampered down as a fantastic stunt that became its legend just as quick as this canonization of BARBARA WALTERS in 2022…..* read ON THE AIR..i just obtained this bible of the entire radio broadcasting industry.. Since i had a wealth of relatives in the business..,,The inner -circle here in Manhattan,, was spawned with that standoffish snubb that the algonquin/ NEW YORKER initiated,, just years before….THERE WAS MONEY TO BE MADE IN ANY BROADCAST FORM despite the risk of affecting and exploiting an unwitting audience….as for isnt
    just a coincidenceWalters influences?? she ain’t no Dorothy Killgallen!!! ,,,, ps… my namesake KOLLMAR isnt just a coincidence

  4. good gosh…. and how the pieces of the puzzle fit together! ..i.e. contemplating that inner circle who control broadcasting information??….. my own cousin the late ALAN OTTEN., who was an original panellist on MEET THE PRESS 1960 under president Kennedy also happened to be a managing editor of the WALL STREET JOURNAL down in D.C. Our president introduced the live tv conference phenomenon we now take for granted……..OTTEN;…along with the NATIONAL
    PRESS CLUB forbid the airing production of THE EXECUTION OF PRIVATE SLOVICK, indefinitely……This Emmy award broadcast was later picked up by Levinson an Link and a writer named Albert Maltz,, as the last of the unfriendly ten just decades before..then…was used,.. hah hah….Maltz later married Esther Goldberg,, former wife of Dr Hyman Engelberg (we all know as Marilyn Monroe,s doctor..remember!),,, it was none other than Frank Sinatra who fought tooth and nail to get that project done…..ps.. i noticed in my last comment a typo=marginal error.. it refers to Barbara walter.s lasting influences? time will tell!

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