National Geographic : 1942 Oct
The National Geographic Magazine areas has been assigned a home or an evacua tion center in the valleys, farther removed from military objectives, as his temporary home in the event of hostilities. To warn against air raids, sirens have been installed all over Oahu, and in areas likely to be subjected to gas attack one sees gongs and noisemakers dangling from signposts at every street corner. The golf courses are covered with obstruc tions to prevent their being used by the enemy as landing fields. Sundays you may see the rector and vested choir marching up the aisle carrying gas masks along with their hymn books. A "Defense Monetary System" Even though well-defended Hawaii does not now feel the Japanese can ever seize and hold the islands, extreme precautions are taken, "just in case." These include a clever change in the local monetary system. Normally, some 30 million dollars of Amer ican money circulate in the islands. About one-half of it is in the peoples' hands; the rest is in banks, trust companies, etc. Now all this paper money is being taken up and in its place "scrip," or an equivalent amount of American money with the word "Hawaii" printed on it, is being substituted. This plan will prevent the Japanese, should they seize the islands, from taking American money found circulating here and spending it for their own good in "black markets." The school system has contributed much to Hawaii's wartime preparations. Over 5,000 students have quit to work at defense jobs or join the home guards. The remainder have gone on a six-day week of shorter classes, doubling up in classrooms to permit use of many school buildings for defense purposes. Several schools, after extensive alterations, now serve as hospitals. Others are headquar ters for military and the civilian defense offices. Still others are used as dormitories for defense workers and troops stationed in the city proper. All schools outside the evacuation area are preparing for service as emergency-feeding stations in the event evacuation is necessary. They likewise serve as civilian defense head quarters for their neighborhood. Here are emergency-aid stations where medical attention will be focused in the event of a raid. Here, too, one gets his vaccination and shots, is fingerprinted and registered, draws his gaso line allotment, and transacts other personal business occasioned by the war. These affairs all function under Frank H. Locey, able Civilian Defense Director, with millions to spend in preparing Hawaii for any eventuality. He says, eying a hospital he has built in two months to house 500, "You know, I shouldn't wonder but after the war that will make a pretty good emergency hos pital. I don't believe it will ever be a school again." That is the way Hawaii's thoughts turn, to the time when it gets back to the business of growing sugarcane and pineapples and lulling visitors under its balmy skies. Natural Beauty and Spirit of People Defy War's Rigors Hawaii is still incomparably beautiful. The Japs can't change the weather or the spirit of its people, who are used to violence. The first Hawaiian kingdom of modern times was formed through bloodshed in 1843; an am bitious British captain once seized the islands by threatening to bombard Honolulu from his ship; and annexation by the United States followed a revolution which overthrew the native monarchy. From December 7 Hawaii has emerged to act as a model to the mainland of civilian con duct under fire. This story is being written on a troopship. But the fabled charm of the islands is ahead. These boys from Iowa farms and Pennsylvania mines look forward to Hawaii as eagerly as wealthy visitors on this very ship in better days. On deck an Army nurse plays Hawaiian rec ords on a portable machine and calls to a passing marine, "Is it really as lovely as they say it is, Mac?" "You won't be disappointed, lady." 560 "~ ~"