FROM THE ATLANTIC TO PEARL HARBOR

December 7 in history:

Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on December 7th, 1787.  As a result, it uses “The First State” as a nickname.

The most recent state to join the union, Hawaii, was not a state yet on December 7th, 1941, when it was attacked by Japanese war planes.  The surprise attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor, early on a Sunday morning, claimed nearly 2500 American lives, destroyed dozens of U.S. planes, and sank four battleships.  Almost 1200 people died when the U.S.S. Arizona exploded.  President Roosevelt declared war on Japan the next day.

Many Americans first heard the news about Pearl Harbor during a break in a CBS radio broadcast of the New York Philharmonic.  On December 7th, 1930, an experimental television broadcast of a radio orchestra concert reportedly featured the first TV commercial in U.S. history.  The ad, broadcast in Boston, promoted a fur company that sponsored the radio show.  The commercial was illegal because the government didn’t allow advertising on television yet.

Another television first happened on December 7th, in 1969…the first broadcast of the “Frosty the Snowman” cartoon special on CBS.  With characters drawn by Mad magazine artist Paul Coker Jr., the show featured the voice of comedian Jackie Vernon as Frosty, with Jimmy Durante as the narrator.

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