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As fear of additional attacks and even invasion heightened, troops were stationed throughout San Diego, including the San Diego State campus. As fear of additional attacks and even invasion heightened, troops were stationed throughout San Diego, including the San Diego State campus.
 


Day of Infamy

Decades Ago at San Diego State: a look back at the start of World War II.
By
 

Seventy years ago, on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was attacked by the Japanese Imperial Navy, killing 2,402 Americans and wounding 1,282 others. The following day, the United States entered World War II and declared war on Japan.

On Dec. 8, 1941, students at San Diego State gathered around portable radios listening to news reports of the surprise attack and, as reported by the Aztec newspaper, expressed shock like most Americans, and realism about the future. SDSU President Walter Hepner issued emergency air raid instructions, while newspaper editorials pleaded with the campus to “keep our heads” and “not turn on Japanese Americans.”

A subsequent column by the president of a Japanese-American student group assured all Aztecs that they were “fully behind America in all her beliefs and actions, for we too are Americans.”

In the days following, the Aztec reported on San Diego State’s efforts in defense of the home front, the closure of the campus at night and reports of State’s first casualties of the war. As fear of additional attacks and even invasion heightened, troops were stationed throughout San Diego, including the San Diego State campus.

About Decades Ago at San Diego State

The SDSU Library's Department of Special Collections and University Archives presents the weekly series "Decades Ago at San Diego State." Special Collections and University Archives staff members collect articles and photos from archived issues of The Daily Aztec, providing a glimpse of the university's past and its memorable events, people and programs. 

More Decades Ago at San Diego State


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Day of Infamy
Decades Ago: Dec. 7, 2011
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