On a quiet Sunday in early December, millions of Americans went about their usual routines.
Folks went to church. Children played out in the yard. Teenagers went to movies. Families went to dinner. People listen to football games on the radio.
And then everything changed.
On the radio came the horrible news that the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii had been attacked by forces from Japan
And just like that, America was plunged into World War II.
Back in 1991 as the nation was preparing to mark the 50th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, I took the opportunity to ask anyone I interviewed that year who was old enough to remember, where they were and what they were doing on that day.
You’re about to hear from men and women who on December 7th 1941 were children or teenagers or young men and women, but who later became major figures in American culture and society. Journalists broadcasters, actors, mystery, writers, military leaders and sports heroes.
You are also going to hear some words and terms and songs that by today’s standards are rude, offensive, and unacceptable. We were a nation that had just been punched hard in the face and our anger was fresh and raw.
Last week the National Football League and its fans lost a truly iconic figure, Don Shula, the all-time winningest NFL coach, died at the age of 90.
I met Don Shula in 1995, just a few months before the start of what would be his final season coaching in the NFL. He had written a book on coaching and leadership, along with Ken Blanchard, the prolific author who [s best known for his book “The One Minute Manager.”
Here now, from 1995, Don Shula and Ken Blanchard:
To this day, the 1972 Miami Dolphins team that Don Shula coached is still the only team that’s ever put together a perfect, undefeated season.
In recent years it’s Donald Trump’s extramarital Affairs that have captured all the media attention. But thirty years ago, there was someone else who was all over the headlines, for her claims of an extramarital affair with a then-presidential candidate.
In January 1992 Gennifer flowers came forward with her story of a long-time affair with then Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, who was running for president.
But as she explained in a 1995 book, flowers may never have brought her allegations public, if not for media articles the out of her, including a story in the supermarket tabloid the star.
I met her in 1995 when she was doing a book tour. So here now, from 1995, Gennifer flowers.
In the summer of 1988 leaders of the Democratic party invited Texas State Treasurer Ann Richards to deliver a prime-time address at the Democratic National Convention.
Richards delivered. all right, in a big way, targeting Republican presidential nominee George H.W. Bush, who had just spent eight years as Ronald Reagan’s vice president. Richards delivered a takedown line that has lived forever: “He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”
I met Ann Richards in the fall of 1989 when she had just launched her campaign for governor of Texas.
So here now from 1989 Ann Richards.
Ann Richards won the election for governor in 1990, but served just one term.