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Journal News: "Pearl Harbor lessons for the Twitter generation"

12/07/2016 News Release Image

Journal News: "Pearl Harbor lessons for the Twitter generation"

(Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

. . . At Pace University in Pleasantville, Durahn Taylor, assistant professor of history, sums up the change brought by Pearl Harbor by pointing to two maps on his office wall.

One is the continental U.S., plus Alaska and Hawaii. The other is a world map.

"During the Great Depression, the American public was focused on the map of the United States, what was happening inside the country, mostly stateside material," Taylor says. "When Pearl Harbor happened, we had to add another map, the map of the world, where you could still see the United States, but it was much smaller. As President Roosevelt said: 'We can no longer measure our safety in terms of miles on any map any more.'"

Luis Flores, 23, a graduate student in Information Systems, from Elmsford, says Pearl Harbor was personal for his family.

"My grandmother had family friends in Hawaii during the attack," he says. "Hearing her stories made me want to research what happened, that it led to World War II. I think people nowadays, if they even know about it, they don't really know what happened, that it was a surprise attack that got us into World War II."

Still, the attack isn't on the radar of millennials he knows.

"My generation doesn't have the drive or curiosity to find out what happened and why. If it's not something that's pertaining to them specifically, nowadays, they don't bother to care or look into it," Flores said.

Case in point: 500 yards from where Flores speaks, 20-year-old business major Arie Cammock drew a blank when asked what happened on Dec. 7, 1941. The power forward on the Pace women's basketball team is sure she learned about it in high school in Brooklyn, "but that was a long time ago," she adds with an embarrassed laugh.

Diego Caro, 21, a global marketing major from Stamford, Connecticut, agrees that, unless you're a history major, Pearl Harbor is a subject mostly covered in high school, not college.

"It's an important date in history, but it's not really talked about throughout campus."

Read more here.