Craig Shirley

  • Aired:  01/05/12
  •  | Views: 9,172

Author Craig Shirley discusses the attack on Pearl Harbor and its ramifications for Japanese Americans. (5:30)

>> WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, BEST

SELLING AUTHOR, HIS NEW BOOK

IS CALLED DECEMBER 1941, 231

DAYS THAT CHANGED AMERICA

AND SAVERED THE WORLD.

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE

PROGRAM CRAIG SHIRLEY.

SIR.

NICE TO SEE YOU, THANK YOU

FOR BEING HERE.

>> YOU BET, THANK YOU.

>> DECEMBER 1941, 31 DAYS,

HERE IS WHAT I LIKE.

I LOVE HISTORICAL

NONFICTION.

I READ IT IN THE

BATH-- WHERE I AM.

-- I AM.

BUT TYPICALLY IT'S WRITTEN

FROM SORT OF A DISTANT

PERSPECTIVE.

YOU WENT THROUGH NEWSPAPERS.

>> UH-HUH.

>> MAGAZINES.

>> AND MAGAZINES AND THINGS

AND IT GIVES IT AN

IMMEDIATESY THAT I THINK IS

DIFFICULT TO FIND IN THESE

TYPES OF THINGS WHERE.

DID THAT COME FROM?

>> WELL, I GREW UP IN A

FAMILY, THE POINT OF

REFERENCE GROWING UP AS A

CHILD WAS THE WAR, BEFORE

THE WAR, DURING THE WAR,

AFTER THE WAR AND I HAVE AN

UNG WOHL WAS KILLED IN WORLD

WAR II AND MY GRANDFATHER

WAS A CIVIL DEFENSE CAPTAIN

IN WORLD WAR II AND MY

PARENTS DID SCRAP DRIVES AND

BOTH MY GRANDMOTHERS WERE

ROSSIE THE RIVETERS.

ONE INSPECTED BOMBS, ANOTHER

TESTED MACHINE GUNS.

SO GROWING UP IN THIS

HOUSEHOLD I HEARD ABOUT ALL

THE EXPLOITS AT THEIR LEVEL

FROM THE CITIZEN LEVEL

SOICHLT WANTED TO WRITE A

BOOK FROM THE PERSPECTIVE,

NOT FROM FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT

OR CHURCH HILL'S PERSPECTIVE

BUT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF

OUR PARENTS.

>> AND GRANDPARENTS.

>> THE INTERESTING THING

THAT IS THE SENSE TRULY THE

SENSE OF SURPRISE, YOU KNOW

THIS WAS OBVIOUSLY A

SURPRISE ATTACK.

>> RIGHT.

>> BUT AT GOVERNMENT LEVEL,

OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING WAS IN

THE WIND.

>> RIGHT.

>> FDR WE FOUND, MY SON

FOUND A MEMO IN THE LIBRARY,

THE PRESIDENT HAD GOTTEN ON

DECEMBER 4th, 1941, 26 PAGE

MEMO WHICH OUTLINED IN GREAT

DETAIL JAPANESE ES MEANAGE

ACTIVITIES IN AMERICA AND IN

THE HAWAIIAN TERRITORY.

AND ON PAGE FOUR IT SAID

VERY EXPLICITLY THAT THERE

WAS A POSSIBILITY FOR

JAPANESE MILITARY ACTION

AGAINST EITHER THE WEST

COAST, PAN AMA CANAL OR

HAWAII ISLANDS SOCKS WE KNEW

IT WAS IN THE WIND.

THE JAPANESE HAD BECOME MILL

TARRISTIC, QUIT THE LEAGUE

OF NATIONS, INVADE

MANCHURIAN, PUT TROOPS INTO

INDOCHINA AND THEY EXPANDED

THEIR MILITARY.

SO THAT IS WHY WE WERE IN

NEGOTIATIONS WITH THEM TO

GET THEM OUT OF CHINA.

>> Jon: THE FASCINATING PART

IS THAT YOU MADE YOUR SON DO

ALL THAT RESEARCH.

(LAUGHTER)

>> FOR THREE REASONS.

FIRSTLY, HE IS A NAVY BRAT

AND HE LOVES HISTORY AND HE

CAME VERY CHEAP.

>> Jon: SO IT WASN'T LIKE

ARE YOU BEING PUNISHED,

YOUNG MAN.

>> YEAH, REALLY INTERESTING,

I DID NOT REALIZE THE EXTENT

TO WHICH THIS COUNTRY PUT

THE JAPANESE CITIZENS

THROUGH THE HELL THAT THEY

PUT THEM THROUGH THAT YOU

COULD BE ARRESTED, NOT JUST

WEST COAST DEPUTIES, IF YOU

HAD A CAMERA.

>> RIGHT.

>> YES.

>> YOU HAD TO TURN IN, AFTER

DECEMBER 7th THE ATTORNEY

GENERAL'S OFFICE

FRANCIS-- ORDERED ALL

JAPANESE AMERICANS TO

SURRENDER THEIR CAMERAS AND

ANY RECORDING DEVICES THEY

TO THE LOCAL POLICE.

STARTING THE AFTERNOON ON

DECEMBER 7th THERE WERE

JAPANESE NATIONALS IN

WASHINGTON WHO WERE PICKED

UP BY THE FBI.

FRANCIS BIDDLE IS REALLY AN

UNSUNG HERO OF WORLD WAR II

BECAUSE J. EDGAR HOOVER AND

THE ARMY WANTED TO

INCARCERATE EVERY JAPANESE.

>> Jon: AND GERMANS AND

ITALIANS.

>> RIGHT.

AND BITTLE WENT TO THE

PRESIDENT AND SAID THIS IS

EXCESSIVE, MR. PRESIDENT.

LET'S JUST INCARCERATE THE

ONES THAT ARE ON OUR WATCH

LIST.

>> Jon: THIS IS EXCESSIVE,

LET'S JUST GET LIKE 20,000

OF THEM.

>> IT IS MORE ABOUT 140,000,

RIGHT, RIGHT.

>> Jon: YOU KNOW, THE

INCREDIBLE THING IS ALSO YOU

KNOW WE DIDN'T IMMEDIATELY

GO AFTER JAPAN IN THE MANNER

THAT YOU MIGHT THINK.

>> NO.

>> Jon: OF THE COUNTRY THAT

HAD ATTACKED US.

>> I DIDN'T REALIZE HOW-- I

DON'T WANT TO SAY SLOW BUT

HOW OUR RESPONSE WAS MORE

DIRECTED TOWARDS GERMANY AND

WHAT WAS HAPPENING THERE.

FDR WAS UNDER, OF COURSE,

THE JAPANESE ATTACKED US ON

THE 7th.

WE DECLARE A WAR ON THE 8th.

>> Jon: ONLY TO JAPAN.

>> ONLY JAPAN.

SO WE'RE COMPLETELY FOCUSED

ON WAR WITH JAPAN IN THE PAS

CIVIC.

BUT THERE IS NO CALL IN THIS

COUNTRY WHATSOEVER TO GO TO

WAR WITH GERMANY AND ITALY.

ONLY AFTER ON DECEMBER 11th

WHEN THEY DECLARE A WAR ON

US DO WE RELUCTANTLY SAY

OKAY, WE HAVE TO RESPOND IN

KIND SO FDR ASKED THE

CONGRESS FOR A DECLARATION

OF WAR AGAINST JAPAN,

GERMANY AND ITALY.

BUT WE WERE SO MILITARILY

WEAK IN THE PAS CIVIC, AND

THERE WAS SO MUCH PRESSURE

THAT CHURCHILL WAS PUTTING

ON ROOSEVELT TO CONCENTRATE

OUR RESOURCES IN EUROPE, SO

REALLY IT WAS A GREAT DEBATE

IN THIS COUNTRY.

WHAT GOES FIRST, THE PAS

CIVIC OR ATLANTIC.

IN MANY WAYS THE ATLANTIC

CAME FIRST.

>> Jon: THAT'S WHAT I LOVE,

WITH THE NEWSPAPER ACCOUNTS

SO INTERESTING TO SEE THE

LAYERS OF THE DEBATE.

>> RIGHT.

>> Jon: AND THE COLOR OF IT

BECAUSE YOU FORGET THAT IT'S

NOT AS MONOCHROME ATTIC OF

WHAT YOU IMAGINE IN

RETROSPECT IN MOST HISTORY

BOOKS.

REALLY INTERESTING.

I REALLY APPRECIATE IT I

CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT YOU

ARE GOING TO MAKE YOUR SON

DO NEXT.

(LAUGHTER)

>> TAKE OUT THE TRASH.

>> Jon: THANK YOU SO MUCH

FOR COMING BY, REALLY

APPRECIATE IT.

THANK YOU, IT'S CALLED

DECEMBER 1941, ON THE BOOK

SHELVES NOW.

CRAIG SHIRLEY.

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