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Column — Dr. Kemp Mabry

Georgia Southern turns 100; Pearl Harbor Day

    This has to do with two events on Dec. 7. First, there is the GSU Henderson Library Fund Raiser at the Gallery on West Main Street No. 33 beginning at 6:30 p.m.
    Dr. Del Presley will be on hand to autograph the"Southern Century," the definitive history of Georgia Southern over the past 100 years. Actually, he will be autographing a commemorative bookplate, arranged to cover the eventuality that some will not have received their "Southern Century" books before Dec. 7. However, books will be on sale if you wish to purchase additional copies as gifts.
    Light hors d'oeurves and punch will be served, catered by the Sugar Magnolia Bakery and Market.
    From 7:30 to 9 p.m., the Book Exchange Game will be in progress. Bring a book you wish to pass on to another person in a stated order. You will leave with a different book in your hand.
    For several years I have been invited to play this game with the staff of Henderson Library. I was the first Life Member of the Friends of Henderson Library and have served on that board for a number of years.
    This event on Dec. 7 brought forth the following statement from our board chairman, Statesboro attorney Laura Wheaton. "The book exchange event is very important to the Friends of Henderson Library because it enables us to purchase books and other materials to enhance our resources for Georgia Southern students.
    "We are grateful for the support of the community in helping us build a strong library which is essential to a first class university that in turn serves the community."
    This Dec. 7 event at 33 Gallery is a Fund Raising Event for Henderson Library. Tickets are $20 each. They will be on sale at Books by Dickens, 601 Lovett Road A; Brown, Rountree & Stewart PC, 26 North Main St.; or call the dean's office at (912) 681-5115.
    Door prizes up to $50 will be offered by Hackers, Yard & Haus, Healthy Touch Day Spa and Longaberger Gift Basket.
    Nov. 7 is the date of the downtown event which attracts folks to a myriad of activities. East Main Street will be closed to automobile traffic at 5 p.m. on Dec. 7. Merchants will have goods for sale, food will abound, there will be a chili cook-off and other events to attract people to the downtown. The Gallery will be accessible. It is East Main that will be closed.
    Dr. Bede Mitchell is dean of Henderson Library. Dr. Patrick is protect chairman. Mrs. Dora Dupont is promotion designer and producer.
    Dec. 7 Pearl Harbor Day
    Everyone in my generation probably remembers where they were when they first heard that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
    The unprovoked attack left several thousand Americans dead and others wounded. My neighbor, Mack Donald, a sailor, was killed.
    Our questions were "What is Pearl Harbor? Where is Pearl Harbor?" When Gene Abercrombie hit our front porch running on that fateful morning, we asked ourselves those questions.
    The next morning, my esteemed principal, Shuler Antley, called Marietta High School students into our auditorium for chapel.
    He had set up a radio and we heard President Franklin D. Roosevelt deliver his now famous "Day of Infamy" speech. We were at war, the Second World War, which ultimately involved 11 million of us.
    We had always felt safe in our isolation by the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Later, we learned that German submarines were on our East Coast and the Japs were sending fire bombs into our Northwestern forests.
    If the German/Japanese Axis powers had won, on the East Coast we would be speaking German and on the West Coast Japanese.
    WWII has been called the last "good" war. We fought for a good cause. We won at great expense of American lives, limbs lost and resources.
    But we still live in "the land of the free and home of the brave." Dec. 7, 1941, a date to remember as Pearl Harbor Day.

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