The online tool for teaching with documents, from the National Archives

This is Not Drill

Focusing on Details: White Out/Black Out

All documents and text associated with this activity are printed below, followed by a worksheet for student responses.

Introduction

In this activity, you will examine a document. It's part of a famous story. Find all the facts. Then, try to put them all together to figure out what this document is and what the story is about.
 
Quickly scan this document. What do you notice first?


Name:
Class:

Worksheet

This is Not Drill

Focusing on Details: White Out/Black Out

Examine the documents included in this activity and write your response in the space provided.



Your Response




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Activity Element

"This is Not a Drill" Dispatch

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Conclusion

This is Not Drill

Focusing on Details: White Out/Black Out

  • Describe the document as if you were explaining it to someone who can’t see it. 
  • What details from the document are clues that may help you understand the purpose of the document?
  • Based on what you can see, what do you think is written behind the black lines? What kind of event do you think happened for someone to send this message? List evidence from the document to explain your opinion.
 
After you have made a hypothesis, click "View Entire Document" to reveal the full details.


Your Response




Document

"This is Not a Drill" Dispatch

12/7/1941

This Navy dispatch announced the attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by the Japanese navy. This was the first official word that reached the rest of the United States announcing the attack. This dispatch was sent by the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific (CINCPAC) to all major Navy commands and fleet units.

This specific copy was received by the Boston Naval Yard. It was received at the Squantum Naval Reserve Aviation Base on December 7, 1941, from the First Naval District. It states, "AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NOT DRILL." The next day, President Franklin Roosevelt gave his famous "Day of Infamy" speech and Congress declared war on Japan.
This primary source comes from the Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments.
National Archives Identifier: 596244
Full Citation: "This is Not a Drill" Dispatch; 12/7/1941; EF37 - Foreign Governments and Countries - Japan; General Correspondence, 1930 - 1943; Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, ; National Archives at Boston, Waltham, MA. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/this-is-not-a-drill-dispatch, September 26, 2021]


"This is Not a Drill" Dispatch

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