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The Attack on Pearl Harbor and the Emergency Relief Program: Events That Helped Shape America

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Two events that helped sculpt America into what it is today would be – the attack on Pearl Harbor and the New Deal Emergency Relief Program. These two events changed the landscape of America for decades to come, and will carry an impact far into the future.

First, a brief reminder of what happened in Pearl Harbor. On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, Japanese planes assaulted the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory. The shelling murdered over 2,300 Americans. It devastated the American war vessel U.S.S. Arizona and overturned the U.S.S. Oklahoma. The assault sank or stranded a sum of twelve ships and harmed nine others. 160 airplane was crushed, and 150 others injured. The attack overwhelmed the nation, particularly the poorly arranged Pearl Harbor base. The next day United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared war on Japan, and the U.S. entered into World War II.

First lady Eleanor Roosevelt, pleaded with Americans on the radio to “go about our daily business more determined than ever to do the ordinary things as well as we can and when we find a way to do anything more in our communities to help others, to build morale, to give a feeling of security, we must do it. Whatever is asked of us, I am sure we can accomplish it. We are the free and unconquerable people of the United States of America” (E. Roosevelt). Nourishment and gas proportioning, triumph gardens, Civil Defense volunteers, scrap metal drives, paper drives, elastic drives — all these remained as unmistakable proof of the solidarity of Americans in the days after Pearl Harbor.

Income from war bonds purchased of different social statuses were streaming in, and gifts for the war exertion were staking up. Bonds were a prevalent Christmas present, selling from $25 to $1,000 each. One man, too old to even consider fighting, gave $25 for the exertion; another lady sent just $5. A senior class at Baird High School in Texas utilized $37.50 made arrangements for their group cookout to purchase bonds. A man in Manhattan, George Herman Ruth Jr., needed to purchase $100,000 worth of war bonds — he was informed that the most extreme was $50,000, so he bought half in December 1941 and half in January 1942 (You may realize him better by his epithet, ‘Babe’). Archbishop Francis Joseph Spellman of New York gave $1,000 to the Red Cross, and even offered “one 16 ounces of clerical blood”, as Time magazine revealed. This single act of violence against the United States would bring together political party lines and people of all color to help win the war. Americans were rushing into recruitment offices, buying war bonds, to sending in silk stocking to be used in the war effort. This event changed America for the better because it helped unite the country as a whole. Men and women would come together and do whatever to help achieve total victory.

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The next event is the New Deal Emergency Relief Program from 1933, started by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Around two months after he got down to business, Franklin Roosevelt designated a previous social laborer Harry Hopkins to head a crisis program of help to the jobless. A few pundits opposed his flurry and needed increasingly broadened thought of this government consumption. Hopkins reacted, broadly, “Individuals don’t eat over the long haul; they eat each day” (H. Hopkins). In two hours, he burned through 5 million dollars, the likeness about $70 million today.

Relief was the quick exertion to help the 33% of the populace that was hardest hit by the downturn. Rescue was additionally planned for giving impermanent assistance to torment and jobless Americans. Nearby and state spending plans were sharply decreased due to falling assessment income. However, New Deal help programs were utilized to contract the unemployed as well as to assemble required schools, metropolitan structures, waterworks, sewers, boulevards, and parks as indicated by neighborhood particulars. While the customary Army and Navy spending plans had decreased, Roosevelt shuffled relief assets to accommodate their varied needs. The entirety of the CCC camps were coordinated by armed force officials, whose compensations originated from the help spending plan. The PWA fabricated various warships, including two planes carrying ships; the cash originated from the PWA organization. PWA likewise manufactured warplanes, while the WPA assembled army installations and runways.

Emergency help was the most mainstream of the New Deal programs and has been known as a critical advance in sparing free enterprise. It introduced an example of government activity in emergencies that would some way or another turn crazy. Without emergency funding, America might not have recovered from the Great Depression, so it took a radical idea to restore the faith of the people into the government again. After years of feeling abandoned by President Hoover, America needed to feel like the government would have their backs, even when tough times happened.

The attack on Pearl Harbor and the Emergency Relief Program helped shape the country because they both gave the people something to believe in, something that was real. These events made people realize that as a whole, Americans can do anything, and nothing can keep us down. No matter how bad things get politically or socially, American will adapt and overcome, and become a stronger nation. We also, as Americans, can become very complacent in our daily lives, so as a whole, we need a wake-up call. These two events demonstrate how a sleeping giant can be brought into the forefront of greatness with one event. America has had and will continue to have events that drastically change the shape of the country, but the importance in all of this is how Americans set aside differences and band together to accomplish these feats.

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The Attack on Pearl Harbor and the Emergency Relief Program: Events That Helped Shape America. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 27, 2023, from
“The Attack on Pearl Harbor and the Emergency Relief Program: Events That Helped Shape America.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022,
The Attack on Pearl Harbor and the Emergency Relief Program: Events That Helped Shape America. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 Sept. 2023].
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