I well remember the division in our country before Pearl Harbor. Certainly there was great hostility to the leadership of FDR, and I recall that the people next door who had a son of draft age were vehemently against getting involved in "foreign entanglements". Homes and cars had signs reading, "Keep U. S. Out of War - Be Neutral"! We could, however, hear the shrill voice of Adolf Hitler on one of our three major radio stations. (Note that having fewer trusted media was one of the things that united us that we don't have today.)
One of the other sources of news occurred when we went to the theater (for about $.35). San Antonio, with a population of 250,000, had three major theaters downtown and they were truly enormous, very ornate movie palaces. Rather than having advertisements and trailers advertising forthcoming movies, THE PATHE NEWS gave us glimpses of what was occurring in Europe. After the movie was over, if one wanted to stay to see it again, one was entertained by musical groups. I well remember the nationally known PHIL SPITALNE AND HIS ALL GIRL ORCHESTRA playing the top tunes that were on the radio's LUCKY STRIKE HIT PARADE. However Lucky Strike had to change the color of their pack because the green dye was needed in the war effort. Thus their slogan was, LUCKY STRIKE GREEN HAS GONE TO WAR! But men (and women for the first time in the service) were given all the cigarettes they wanted to smoke. Straight arrow me never did!
But the attack on Pearl Harbor united the nation. Ths common enemy united the country with everyone seeming to want to do their part. We collected scrap metal and tin foil that wrapped our candy bars. Most consumer products were rationed and we had stamps noting our allotment. At 16 was I just so I'll informed or have I sublimated the terrible things we did to those citizens of Japanese heritage on the West Coast? We of German descent faced no such trauma!!!!
There are of course books on this topic, but there are many experiences not recorded about the war. I'll close my thoughts on this topic with an email I received from a close friend:
I hope others of you will get to other WWII veterans before it is too late.