Pearl Harbor mural canceled over concerns about headline

WESTERLY, R.I. —

A Rhode Island group’s plan to put up a mural depicting a historic newspaper front page announcing the attack on Pearl Harbor has been canceled because of concerns that the headline used an offensive word.

The group Bricks and Murals voted to cancel plans for the mural, according to a report in The Westerly Sun. The mural was going to depict the newspaper’s front page from Dec 7, 1941, which used an offensive term for describing the Japanese in declaring “Japs attack Hawaii and The Philippines.”

The Sun was the only U.S. newspaper at the time with a regular Sunday afternoon edition, and therefore was the first to announce the attack. Other U.S. newspapers had to print special editions.

Town Councilor Jean Gagnier, co-chair of the group, worried the mural would bring unwanted attention to the coastal town on the Connecticut border.

“Picture some white supremacist group coming down and wanting to stand in front of the mural. I don’t want that in any way, shape or form,” he said. “I just want it to be a warm and inviting place about culture and history.”

The story The Westerly Sun printed that day was not just historic but also erroneously noted that the White House made the announcement at 2:23 p.m. In fact, the time was 2:22 p.m., but the newspaper’s typesetting machine had run out of the number two in the correct size, according to a Sun account of that day. Instead, they fudged the time, using a three instead so they could make the paper’s 3 p.m. deadline.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    A wise idea.

  • -6

    gaijin playa

    i think the mural headline shouldnt change. this is terminology from the time of the attacks, not to mention historical evidence. keep it, japan has no grounds for complaint in this issue.

  • 1

    kaynide

    @Gaijin Playa: I'd generally agree, but consider other racist slurs from history and whether they are appropriate or not. A mural depicting historical but currently inappropriate brand names comes to mind. (See Darkie Toothpaste, sold in Asia)

    ...or a headline using the word Pigs for police, or cracker for whites.

  • 4

    toshiko

    @gaijin: How come you are telling as if Japan ii's complaining?

  • -4

    chisineko

    A dumb idea from the start, but to retreat because of potential PC bullying is illustrative of a societies resolve and moral character. After so many years, is any pictorial representation of an attack on a lady named Pearl Harbor really needed?

  • 2

    kiyoshiMukai

    Its nice to see politicians acting this way

  • 3

    albaleo

    this is terminology from the time of the attacks, not to mention historical evidence

    That's true, and it shouldn't be removed from historical records. But to display it in such a public way in these times is out of order.

  • 1

    Nessie

    In fact, the time was 2:22 p.m., but the newspaper’s typesetting machine had run out of the number two in the correct size, according to a Sun account of that day. Instead, they fudged the time

    A minute that will live in infamy

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