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When The Music Stopped

May 2024
1min read

Richard Ketchum’s admirable and able story “’Yesterday, December 7, 1941 …” in the November 1989 issue includes references to persons who say that they were listening to the New York Philharmonic broadcast at 2:30 P.M. (EST) when it was interrupted for the announcement about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

According to The New York Times of that day, the Philharmonic broadcast started at 3:00 P.M. (EST) on radio station WABC. I was listening to a concert from the Brooklyn Museum under Eugene Plotnikoff on New York City’s radio station WNYC from 1:30 that afternoon. While I was reading for my next day’s classroom assignments, that concert was interrupted at about 2:30 P.M. with the news of that “day of infamy.” At that program’s conclusion I was prepared to tune in on WABC at 3:00.

It does seem like a piddling matter, but did you have correspondents in the Midwest, thus accounting for the hour or so differential? The matter is small, yet small facts unrecorded or not considered important have a way of distorting history in subsequent years in a more telling fashion.

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