In 1940, Americans still hoped that the United States might remain neutral in the ongoing struggle being fought in Europe and Asia. In the event that the United States did enter the conflict, however, University of North Carolina President Frank Porter Graham had determined that the institution should support the war effort. A former officer in the Marine Corps during World War I, Graham announced even before the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 that the University would offer “all its resources to the nation for the defense of the freedom and democracy it was founded to serve.” Following Pearl Harbor, students and faculty emulated Graham’s patriotism, and the Chapel Hill campus was transformed into a military resource furthering the war effort.
Author: Josh Harper
A North Carolina native, Josh Harper is Illustrations Editor and Research Assistant for the North Carolina History Project. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2007), with honors and a double major in History and Peace, War, and Defense.