THE NATION: One Sunday Afternoon

Once again December 7 fell upon a quiet Sabbath. Sitting amid the strewn wreckage of the Sunday newspapers, many a man & woman remembered with a sudden pang how the news had tornadoed in from Pearl Harbor on an identical afternoon in 1941. On Dec. 7, 1947, millions of Americans still remembered the sense of shock, the surge of challenge.

Many also remembered something else: the feeling of scarcely admitted relief. On Pearl Harbor Day, the line between right & wrong had been drawn with the sharp definition of a bomb splinter. There had been only one possible course which Americans...

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