- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Surging anger and frustration sparked by terrorist attacks on New York and Washington and their devastating financial impact are startlingly reminiscent of the nation's reaction to Japan's sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.
But U.S. stock markets survived 1941's "date which will live in infamy" and Americans rallied as well in the four long months before Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle led 79 men on the audacious counterattack bombing raid against Tokyo and Nagoya.
After Pearl Harbor, Americans planted Victory Gardens and made do despite rationing of gasoline, meat, sugar, butter, shoes and even bicycles. The Office of Price Administration ordered rationing in January 1942, but gasoline restrictions didn't actually start until July 22 and food rationing was delayed until Dec. 27.
Price controls put into effect Jan. 30 limited profits to 6 percent and contributed to the collapse of thousands of small businesses.
But the nation survived that and separation among families, the deaths of 292,131 Americans in battle and 115,187 outside of combat, as well as the internment of 116,000 people of Japanese ancestry two-thirds of them U.S. citizens.
Now, as in 1941, Americans are questioning why it takes so long to respond to foreign attacks, investigators are rounding up U.S. residents believed to have links to the attackers, and market analysts say shuddering markets will stabilize and rise again.
Television was no factor in 1941, when security consisted of men too old to get into uniform wearing Civil Defense helmets to keep watch from the beaches for enemy airplanes. Neighborhoods were blacked out with opaque green shades in homes and blackened headlights on cars with enough gasoline to drive.
One eye-opening point of comparison: the U.S. government spent $341 billion to wage World War II, while on paper U.S. investors lost $590 billion on Monday alone in stock value.
Market analyst Gibbons Burke of www.markethistory.com predicts quick recovery this time. But it took a year for markets to recover after Pearl Harbor, the only attack from which the Dow did not rebound in 30 days, as it did after the USS Maine was sunk in 1898, the Lusitania was torpedoed in 1915, Kuwait was invaded in 1990, and the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993.
"The sad fact is that capitalist economies tend to profit during wartime. War is bullish," Mr. Burke said.
The first word that Japanese planes had bombed Pearl Harbor came by radio, and in newspapers with murky photos of the ruined Pacific Fleet. Last week's attack was broadcast live in vivid color.
Beginning on Dec. 7, 1941, FBI agents questioned Japanese suspected of collusion, much as their latter-day colleagues seized at least 49 aliens thought to have links to Osama bin Laden's hijack network, and hunted for hundreds more.
Until Pearl Harbor, the United States sidestepped direct involvement in the brewing Pacific war and Nazi expansionism in Europe, but it responded swiftly when U.S. soil was bombed. Life changed forever, in part because some 6 million women entered the work force and most never left it.
Hoover Institution scholar Keith E. Eiler said the nation where neutrality had been a watchword "found itself with a weak, outmoded military and a civilian population utterly unprepared for the shock of total war."
Moments after President Roosevelt's speech to Congress denouncing Japan's "unprovoked and dastardly attack," the Senate voted 82-0 to declare war and the House did the same, 388-1.
America's surprise at the sudden plunge into war was reflected in Dec. 8 "man on the street" interviews conducted for the Library of Congress.
"I thought sure it would be Germany," Dorothy Kottner said. "I mean there is war, isn't there?"
"That's right. Sure is, as of 12:30 today," interviewer Alan Lomax replied.
"Well, I think that's about the only way out," Miss Kottner said.
"Well, I tell ya, I didn't want us to go to war," Stanley Hutt told an interviewer. "I mean, like everybody else we'd like to keep out of it. But now that we're in there I hope go to work on them and really give them something they'll be sorry for."
But then, as now, retaliation proved to be neither quick nor easy.
On Dec. 10, Axis powers Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. Congress responded the following day with formal declarations of war against both nations.
With the military drafting able-bodied young men in a mobilization that put 15 million troops in uniform, one of the first orders of business was to deal with the large number of Japanese in the United States.
Jan. 5 was the deadline for all enemy aliens to surrender radio transmitters, shortwave receivers and precision cameras.
In the face of fears that Japan would attack California, Adm. John W. Greenslade, Navy commandant in the region, urged on Jan. 8 that American-born as well as alien Japanese be excluded from areas of strategic importance.
Large-scale roundups and relocation of Japanese didn't begin until April, but President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on Feb. 19.
That occurred a few days after influential columnist Walter Lippmann wrote a column from San Francisco saying the area was "in imminent danger of a combined attack from within and without" and calling for the president to clear the coming battlefield.
"Nobody's constitutional rights include the right to reside and do business on a battlefield," Mr. Lippmann advised.
Executive Order 9066 allowed military commanders to create exclusion zones from which the War Relocation Authority moved the Japanese to guarded inland detention camps in Colorado, Utah, Arkansas, Wyoming and Arizona.
"We don't want any Japs back here ever," said a sign posted by a grinning storekeeper in Kent, Wash., shown in a United Press photo.
In the absence of any victory and with the surrender of 76,000 U.S. troops in the Philippines Japanese expanded its control in the Pacific.
The first U.S. answer came 132 days after Pearl Harbor, on April 18, 1942. Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, 45, a famed aviation pioneer, led a daring raid on Japan by 16 B-25B bombers, raising the hopes of Americans and embarrassing the enemy.
The planes were specially modified to take off from the deck of the aircraft carrier Hornet, and most of their five-man crews survived crash landings in China. Eight men were captured; three were executed. Col. Doolittle received the Medal of Honor.

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