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Hear the breaking news report from Pearl Harbor, 75 years later

December 7, 2016 at 6:10 PM EDT
In our NewsHour Shares moment of the day, listen to how an NBC journalist in Honolulu reported on a surprise attack by Japanese bombers on Pearl Harbor, 75 years ago today.

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HARI SREENIVASAN: Now to our NewsHour Shares, something that caught our eye, that might be of interest to you, too.

As we noted earlier, today marks the 75th anniversary of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The ensuing battle claimed the lives of more than 2,400 Americans, and triggered U.S. involvement in World War II.

An unknown NBC reporter in Honolulu spoke by telephone that day in a dispatch that was broadcast live across the nation.

Here’s an excerpt:

REPORTER: One, two, three, four.

Hello, NBC. Hello, NBC. This is KGU in Honolulu, Hawaii.

I am speaking from the roof of the Advertiser Publishing Company building. We have witnessed this morning a distant view of a brief full battle of Pearl Harbor and a severe bombing of Pearl Harbor by enemy planes, undoubtedly Japanese.

The city of Honolulu has also been attacked, and considerable damage done. This battle has been going on for nearly three hours. One of the bombs dropped within 50 feet of KGU tower. It is no joke. It is a real war.

Oil still leaks at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Photo by James Martin

Oil still leaks at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Photo by James Martin

The public of Honolulu has been advised to keep in their homes and await results from the Army and Navy. There has been fierce fighting going on in the air and on the sea. The heavy shooting seems to be — one, two, three, four. Just a moment. We’ll interrupt here.

We cannot estimate yet how much damage has been done, but it has been a very severe attack. And the Navy and Army appear now to have the air and the sea under control.

JUDY WOODRUFF: It certainly brings us back to that terrible day.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Yes, I wonder what it was like to hear that on the radio everywhere. I’m sure it was one of those moments where everyone knew exactly, if they were alive at that point to hear it.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Seventy-five years ago this day.