Pearl Harbor - "We Interrupt This Program"

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Americans were shocked to learn about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  Getting the breaking news by radio, at a time when reporters "called it in" by telephone, an already confusing situation was not made clearer until later in the afternoon of December 7, 1941.

Most Americans first learned their country was at war when John Charles Daly came on the air, at 2:25 PM (EST),  with a news report on CBS radio.

That famous broadcast was not recorded.  Radio historians tell us this existing audio clip was spliced together later - in 1948 - for Edward R. Murrow's record album, I Can Hear it Now:

No recording was made of the first news bulletin announcing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941. The famous recording by John Daly saying "We interrupt this program to bring you a special news bulletin. The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii by air" was actually spliced together in 1948 for the Murrow record album I Can Hear It Now by Fred Friendly of CBS.

The splice was made from two other later recordings, according to veteran radio announcer Robert Trout, and no news bulletin interrupted any network program on Dec. 7.

John Daly later moderated the TV quiz show, "What's My Line."

Media Credits

Clip from a later-recorded announcement regarding the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Online, courtesy archive.org and the U.S. National News Museum.


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"Pearl Harbor - "We Interrupt This Program"" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Nov 13, 2019.
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