You'll be seeing a lot of coverage in print, broadcast and online this week on the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a singular event of the 20th century and the catalyst for leading the United States into World War II.
The American News plans to commemorate the anniversary of the "date which will live in infamy," as President Franklin Roosevelt called it, with special coverage in print and online on Wednesday. Our plan is to tell some of the stories of South Dakota Pearl Harbor survivors and try to put some historical context onto the attack.
In addition, we will publish a full-size reproduction of the front page of the Dec. 7, 1941, afternoon extra edition of the "Aberdeen American-News," as it was known at the time. It will be a great time capsule that we think our readers will enjoy.
Seventy years is a long time, and it is now nearly impossible to find surviving veterans of the Pearl Harbor attacks. Those memories continue to fade to the generations, sharing history with other defining moments, such as the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
As I was thinking about 70 years and what that means historically, it dawned on me that we are nearly as far removed from 1941 as those men and women were removed from the Civil War, which took place some 80 years before World War II.
It will become increasingly difficult to do these anniversary stories in the coming years. I expect that this Wednesday's newspaper will be a keepsake.
New reporter begins
You've likely noticed a new byline in the paper belonging to Calvin Men.
Calvin is our new health and higher education reporter. He will be responsible for stories related to health care and medicine, as well as our local college and university.
He comes to us from Garden Grove, Calif.; we might be able to thank him for bringing some of the unseasonably not-snowy weather we've been experiencing.
You can reach Calvin at email@example.com, or at his desk at 605-622-2301.
The naked truth about 'Zits'
I received a call last week from a reader who was upset with the Sunday, Nov. 27, "Zits" cartoon strip.
In the strip, teenager Jeremy is seen whiling away his weekend eating, playing guitar, hanging out and taking a shower. That panel shows the lanky character's bare behind.
While it's not an especially detailed drawing, I wondered if it would raise any eyebrows. It did - at least the two belonging to the caller.
Our apologies to those who were offended by that cartoon strip. If you have thoughts about the cartoon, let me know, and I'll pass them on to the company that syndicates "Zits."
One more Fred
Reporter Samantha Norman had a cute story last week about two sisters-in-law who visit a different "Fred" town every year over the Thanksgiving holiday. This year, the duo hit Frederick, S.D.
A caller to the paper told me the two missed their chance to meet another Fred - Fredonia, N.D., about an hour northwest of Ellendale, N.D., on Highway 11.
I checked with a friend of the Fred fans - they know about Fredonia and are planning a return trip sometime in the future.
I've recently changed my username on Twitter. Follow me @jjperry_AAN.