How quickly did the news of Pearl Harbor Disseminate though out USA

I pretty much learned of the 9-11 attacks about 10 minutes after the first plane crashed into the WTC.

When Kennedy was assassinated, my mother found out relatively quickly (~15 min), watching a Soap Opera (As the World Turns). She immediately called my father (a FBI agent in Atlanta) and it was the first time he heard the news.

Pearl Harbor happened on Sunday, early in the morning, Hawaii time. that would put it early afternoon on the East Coast. How quickly would the average US citizen have heard the news of the attack?

I would guess most people would have access to radios, but how many of them would be listening to the radio on a Sunday afternoon. I guess once someone hears, the switchboard would start to light up, but phones were not in every household in 1941.

Here’s a good start.

It was on the big radio networks in about half an hour.

Within a couple of hours the radio networks were broadcasting the news. Sunday afternoon was prime time for radio shows, so many many Americans would have first heard the news this way.

The attack started just before 8AM local time, which would have been 10AM on the west coast or 1PM on the east coast. There are contemporary reports of the news being announced at halftime of the NY Giants football game, which would have been around 2:30 pm.

A related question.

Before December 7, how many Americans would have been familiar with “Pearl Harbor” and known it was a US Military base in Hawaii?

On December 7, 1941, my parents and I returned from a weekend vacation around 5:00 PM on that Sunday. I turned on the radio in the house as the car was being unloaded and the news was all over the airways. It got out in a hurry.

Pearl Harbor was/is the headquarters of the US Pacific Fleet, and the whole country was awaiting a war with Japan. I can’t specifically answer your question but it probably wasn’t an obscure place-name to most people following the news.

I thought the Pacific fleet was headquartered in San Francisco during WW II? Even so Pearl Harbor was a major base.

Actually, it was 1:30 p.m. in the East. in 1941, Hawaiian time was 5 1/2 hours behind Eastern Standard Time.

According to this account, the radio networks all got bulletins on the air between 2:26 and 2:30 p.m., about an hour after the first attack began.

I think perhaps happywaffle meant it was the headquarters of the US Fleet in the South Pacific, which is true enough, and more than enough reason for most people following the news of the anticipated war to be aware of it.

And these days Honolulu is three hours behind Pacific Time and six hours behind Eastern Time.

You’re thinking of Starfleet. :slight_smile:

Starfleet was involved in WWII?

No, there were no nuclear wessels back then

There were, however, nuclear weasels. And nasty critters they were / are.

No it’s not. Still two and five. They do not observe daylight savings time in Hawaii, so the 3/6 difference would be correct during the summer.

My step-father heard the news during the middle of a movie at the theater. He still believes “A Yank in the RAF” starred Ronald Reagan, but I don’t have the heart to tell him it was someone else.

This link indicates that the headquarters for the Pacific Fleet was moved from San Pedro, California to Pearl Harbor in 1940.

Thanks, anson2995. Put it this way then: During the winter (or more precisely the non-daylight saving part of the year) Honolulu is two hours behind Pacific Time and six hours behind Eastern Time. During the summer (or more precisely the daylight saving period of the year), Honolulu is three hours behind Pacific Time and five hours behind Eastern Time.

I think you have that a little backwards. During DST Hawaii is EDT-6, PDT-3
During standard time Hawaii is EST-5, PST-2. The Eastern and Pacific time zones are always 3 hours separated from each other.

From Stalag 17:

Sefton: When was Pearl Harbor, Price, or don’t you know that?
Price: December 7th, '41.
Sefton: What time?
Price: [smugly] 6:00. I was having dinner.
Sefton: 6:00 in Berlin.
[to the other barrack members]
Sefton: They were having lunch in Cleveland. Am I boring you boys?
Hoffy: Go on.
Sefton: He’s a Nazi, Price is. For all I know his name is Preissinger or Preishoffer. Oh, sure, he lived in Cleveland. But when the war broke out, he came back to the Fatherland like a good little Bundist. He spoke our lingo, so they sent him to spy school and fixed him up with phony dog tags.