|The Japanese bombing of Pearl harbor stunned Auburn along
with the rest of the nation. The next day classes were dismissed
and solemn students and faculty members gathered at Langdon Hall to hear
over loudspeakers President Franklin D. Roosevelt tell Congress: "Yesterday,
December seventh, 1941--a date which will live in infamy--the United States
of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces
of the Empire of Japan." The president told Congress, "Hostilities
exist...our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger,"
and promised, "We shall not settle for less than total victory."
Congress agreed. America was at war. So was Auburn..
"Prominent Auburn leaders urged students to guard against war hysteria
and remain in classes until the government called upon them to serve,"
the AU Report recalled. "Auburn students heeded their message
and adopted a 'How can I help?' philosophy." Students enlisted in
the armed forces in great numbers, and Auburn enrollment of 3,640 in the
fall of 1942 dropped to 1,710 in 1943. -- Photo: AU Archives