Under The Influence

In one of the stranger, side-stories about Pearl Harbor and the immediate aftermath is the story that when President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his speech to Congress on December 8, 1941, after the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, that he quite possibly was under the influence of cocaine. 

The issue was raised during the History Channel’s outstanding documentary, “Pearl Harbor 24 Hours After” which showed among other things that, the attack completely shook the USA to its core. Panic was rampant in Washington and the country as a whole. 

In the era before cable news television, President Roosevelt was completely in the dark for several hours as to the exact damage that was done to the Pacific fleet as he couldn’t get detailed information from the Pentagon, or government officials in Hawaii.

The country was woefully unprepared for war as the U.S. had one (1) combat-ready division and the army at the time of the Japanese attack was the 17th largest in the world (behind Rumania) but in less than four years would field 12.2 million men under arms at its peak.