Primary Source

Newspaper Coverage of Pearl Harbor Bombing

Evening Star newspaper headline reads Roosevelt Sends Note to Hirohito Japanese Convoy Nears Thailand US takes over Finnish vessels
Evening Star headline reads President signs declaration of war; 350 casualties as Japs blast Manila
Evening Star headline reads DC to have partial blackout tonight

Annotation

When historians examine a particular story in a newspaper, they not only have to take into account the story's positioning on the page in relation to the other stories published that day, a way of getting a sense of the importance the editors assigned to the story, but also how a certain story has played out over several days in the same newspaper. By looking at a particular newspaper over time, historians can account for both the sometimes slow pace of information and the ways information is presented differently over time. Take Washington, D.C.'s paper, The Evening Star, for example. Their issue on Sunday December 7, 1941, makes no reference to Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii not because the event wasn't important, but because the paper itself had already been printed by the time information of the attack had arrived. As a result, the headline news of the bombing isn't seen until Monday December 8. The following day, the headlines again give no mention to the event only because it is no longer new and so has moved down on the page as a continuing story.

Credits

NewsBank's collection of Washington D.C.'s The Evening Star [https://infoweb.newsbank.com/apps/readex/publication-browse?p=EANX&t=pubname%3A13D5DA85AE05A305%21Evening%2BStar]

How to Cite This Source

"Newspaper Coverage of Pearl Harbor Bombing ," in World History Commons, https://worldhistorycommons.org/newspaper-coverage-pearl-harbor-bombing [accessed August 8, 2022]