With the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States “embarked on the greatest adventure in its history.” In high dudgeon Henry Luce thundered that “it would be better to leave America a heap of smoking stones than surrender it to the mechanized medievalism which is the Mikado or to the anti-Christ which is Hitler.” The sense of momentousness was felt from coast to coast. In St. Louis, crowds were “half-confused, half-scared, but elated at the epochal portent of the struggle.” In Boston guards were doubled at power plants, factories, and shipyards, and bellboys were dispatched to the roof of the Hotel Statler to dump black paint on the arrow that pointed to the airport. Mothers in Scarsdale, New York, parked their cars outside the high school, ready to take their children home if enemy bombers attacked that city, and in Washington, D.C., an especially dim-witted patriot chopped down four Japanese cherry trees along the Tidal Basin.1