On January 1st Americans from east to west have delighted in the sunshine of southern California, as they view the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl football game. Though it may sound like a trivia question, the location of the 1942 Rose Bowl game should be constantly before us, in the days ahead — because we may need to change our lives as a result of attacks on American soil.
The December 7th, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor forced the game to be played in Durham, North Carolina, at Duke University's field. Blackouts, rationing, curfews for those of Japanese ancestry followed December 7, not to mention the internment of enemy aliens from the Axis countries and, in the late winter and spring of 1942, the relocation from the west coast of those of Japanese ancestry. The social change resulted from fighting the war — internal immigration throughout the country and the integration of women into the workforce.
In short order, American soil would be invaded yet again — in Alaska. Santa Barbara's oil refineries would be shelled by a Japanese submarine. Later in the war, Japanese incendiary bomblets, cast into the Pacific winds, would land in the Pacific Northwest forests, killing a girl who innocently picked one up.
But in the current war the changes in our lives must encompass more than the mere change of venue for sports events or other gatherings. Likewise, the shifting of populations would scarcely be a rational response. After all, our immigration policies are in a shambles. While airport petty bureaucrats impose preposterous (and pointless) conditions on travelers, civil libertarians anguish over the rights of U.S. citizens who engaged in combat against U.S. armed forces and others who appear, on good authority, to have been ready to perform acts of terrorism. And of course this liberal charity extends to non-citizens and those who have entered this country illegally as well. They have rights, too, these punctillious lawyers explain, in exasperation.
Of course, we should not take for granted success on the foreign front of the war, which is the key to retaining our liberties at home. War with Iraq? Add North Korea. And who knows what other fronts may open up.
Enjoy the game. By the way, 60 years ago the final score was Oregon State 20, Duke 16.