The spirit of the 10th anniversary of Pearl Harbor was best expressed by the Washington Post in its lead editorial that day, which discussed the importance of Japan as an ally in the struggle against communism in Asia. Because of that struggle, “the Japanese American alliance ought to be maintained in harmony,” the editorial concluded. “It is to this future rather than to the past that thoughts should be directed on this anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day.”

In other words, don’t remember Pearl Harbor. Think about the communists in Korea instead.

The L.A. Times front page on Dec. 7, 1951, made no reference to the anniversary. The lead stories reported on new “atomic artillery” that could be used in the Korean War, and heavy snow on the ridge route. The second section did have a column on the Pearl Harbor anniversary, which opened, “This is the day on which innumerable Americans … will be tempted to go about boring other Americans to death with their reminiscences of where they were and exactly how they heard the news” a decade earlier. Of course this form of boredom could be avoided — by not reminiscing about Pearl Harbor.