January 13th, 2007


what was hawaii doing in the pacific?

Reproduced from Zero Mostel’s FBI file:

Stage Door Canteen, Thursday, 13 August 1942


My impression of a peculiar sapiensis Americanis, (the Isolationist Senator), who digs at our great President, is a holder of an X card, cannot get along on the starvation wages of $25,000 a year -- the honorable Senator Phineas T. Pellegra, who never gets excited, who is always very calm and cool as he speaks about the democracy in which he doesn't believe -- in.

My fellow Americans, I take off my hat in America to no one -- but in this great land of opportunity, in this great land of democracy, in the midst of plenty, where we have these various sacred principles that our fathers have fought for in the past, present and future, then I must reiterate that all our strength, that all our power, these same principles which we know to be true on the one hand -- and on the other hand.

I may be vague, but permit me to be serious and bituminous at this moment, to illustrate this story with an incident that was related to me by the president of U.S. Congeal, a struggling monopoly.

He said to me, "Pellegra (he calls me by my first disease), you take your attitude away from your platitude -- what have you got -- FIDUCIARY?" -- and this shows, my fellow Americans, that we cannot pursue a policy... that we cannot pursue a policy... that we cannot pursue a policy of... (DOUBLE TALK) .....FORGET IT!

I say to you, AMERICA FIRST!!!

(And what is the trouble with our war effort? I will tell you. The trouble with our war effort is that we have too many allies... twenty-six... we are too crowded! It is not restricted enough! Why, my golf club has more rules for admission than this war. Before we know it, it will be an unequal battle... the Axis will be outnumbered. Is that fair? Is that the American way?)

One final word. You know, I come from a state where there are no conditions, and if I were to tell the most serious and grievous problem facing the American people about this so-called Japanese attack on Hawaii, I have this to offer to you, my fellow Americans...... From one corner of our great land, in Rhode Island, to the other corner in California..... DOUBLE TALK..... DOUBLE TALK..... DOUBLE TALK..... This one question..... WHAT WAS HAWAII DOING IN THE PACIFIC?
Agent's Note

It is believed the above excerpts taken from the broadcast of Stage Door Canteen on 13 August 1942 by the Columbia Broadcast System resulted in Sokolsky's criticism of the Subject in his column. Attention is directed to the fact that the script was not presented in its original form. The program director made deletions of certain passages in the script, which he apparently felt were in bad taste. These are shown in the script in brackets.