O'Fallon Progress

President Roosevelt declares war on Japan, O’Fallon students listen to address

Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president.
Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president. rkirsch@bnd.com

Next week marks the 75th anniversary of, as Franklin D. Roosevelt declared, “a date which will live in infamy” — the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by Japan on Dec. 7, 1941. O’Fallonites, along with the rest of the nation, were stunned at the news.

The O’Fallon Township High School monthly newsletter, the Panther, noted the mood the next day, Dec. 8. “Very blue Monday. We assemble at 11:30 to listen to President Roosevelt’s address to Congress and hear declaration of war against Japan. It was an historic event for all of us, but a sad one. A number of graduates and former students of the O.T.H.S. are in active military and naval service in the war territory.”

Next week, we’ll take a look back at those historic but anxious days as viewed from O’Fallon.

75 years ago, Dec. 4, 1941.

O’Fallon will take its place among the other progressive cities to usher in the yuletide season with appropriate street lighting, according to plans of the Rotary Club which is sponsoring the movement. At a meeting of the club Monday, it was decided to utilize the wiring of the Home-Coming Association to properly light the downtown streets before and after Christmas. The present white globes are to be replaced with colored lights appropriate to the season.

50 years ago, Dec. 1, 1966.

Parkview Colonial Manor Nursing Home, located at 300 Weber road, will hold its formal opening from 1 until 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with the public invited. The nursing home with a capacity of 107 persons was recently completed and has about 10 patients at present. Philip W. Schildknecht is president of the nursing home and Neil P. Gavin, secretary. J.E. Hinchcliffe, Sr., is its administrator and Mrs. Laura Mitchell is assistant administrator. The building is furnished in Early American with two lounges. A piano and color television is provided for the entertainment of the patients.