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War Comes to CA
 

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On the afternoon of December 7, 1941, the Navy Department in Washington, D.C. received the message, "AIR RAID, PEARL HARBOR, THIS IS NO DRILL." By evening, Californians were aware of the calamity across the Pacific. Rumors spread. There were many more questions than answers. Where was the Japanese fleet? Would the West Coast be next? Had submarines shelled Santa Barbara? Government and military leaders tried to calm public anxiety as the state geared up for a war no one expected to be quick or easy.


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Postal Telegraph, page 1

Postal Telegraph, page 2

When California Attorney General Earl Warren received word on the afternoon of December 7, 1941 of the Pearl Harbor attack, he quickly wrote a telegraphic message to the state’s law enforcement agencies outlining immediate steps to be taken.

U. S. S. California Photograph

One of the first casualties of the war, the battleship U.S.S. California was sunk at Pearl Harbor. Refloated and rebuilt, she later saw action in the Pacific.

Governor Olson Proclamation

Notice to Aliens of Enemy Nationalities

Although the immediate threat of Japanese invasion had passed, Governor Culbert Olson continued to warn Californians to be watchful of saboteurs.



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