Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 7-Remembering Pearl Harbor

Below is an account of Cavendish's response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 from Barbara Kingsbury's "Chubb HIll Farm and Cavendish, Vermont: A Family and Town History 1876-1960:

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, Americans suddenly became united in their desire to fight. The apparatus for the draft, price control, and civil defense, as well as a larger Army and Navy, were already in place.

Residents of Cavendish listened to the radio news with mounting anxiety and were as aware of the international situation as other ordinary citizens anywhere in America. Even before the war, they had seen that there were a lot more jobs available. The unemployment of the early and mid 1930's had been reversed; now there were more jobs than workers. Cavendish, which had been somewhat apart from the economic panics and movements which had swept other parts of the nation in earlier years, joined the rest of the country in its participation in the Second World War.

Cavendish families had husbands or sons subject to the draft in both world wars. A great many more Cavendish men were drafted and served overseas in World War II than in World War I. While about 57 Cavendish men and one woman served in 1917-1918, at least 168 men and one woman served in the 1941-45 period. ....

As soon as war was declared, there were classes on how to spot enemy planes, rules for air raid drills and blackouts, a Red Cross War Drive, and an announcement that Springfield machine shops would train women for the work force. ....

To read more Cavendish during WWII, Kingsbury's book is available at the Cavendish Library, or it can be ordered from the Cavendish Historical Society. Checks should be made payable to CHS, PO Box 472, Cavendish, VT 05142. The cost is $25 and $5 for shipping and handling. For more information, call 802-226-7807 or e-mail

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