At the U.S. Coastguard at Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, Exline’s Bill Hutchison was awakened from sleep. He dressed, was armed and assigned to duty outside a Japanese dry goods store on Mission Street in San Francisco. He was to prevent anyone from entering. He described to his parents in Exline the look on the faces of the elderly Japanese owners when he told them they could not enter their own store.
Dec. 8, 1941: The weather was cold. Dark sullen clouds hung low in the sky. A high wind tore at the flag on top of the Courthouse yard flagpole. Charles DePuy, the Iowegian columnist, walked the Square, his head low to keep the wind from his eyes. In the Red Cross Drug Store on the Square’s southside, DePuy found people listening to the radio and commenting with an air of resignation. The tone was the same at the Continental. Traveling salesmen were standing in groups listening to the announcer, confused, wondering whether to sit and wait or return home.The radio announcer was starting to describe the scene in the U.S. Congress. The president was about to speak.
Across the county everyone adjusted their radios and increased the volume. In Mystic High School, students lined in the assembly room watched as Superintendent H.G.Golden placed a console radio on the stage. In Moulton, students were assembling in the study hall. Superintendent Werner Wegner tuned the radio and checked that all could hear. In Centerville, Charles DePuy had reached the city’s high school. The students were listening in their classrooms. The president began: “Yesterday, December 7, 1941-a date that will live in infamy...” At the end he finished: “I ask that the congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.” The national anthem was played. The Centerville students, without prompting, stood to attention and pledged allegiance to the flag.