Monday, August 02, 2010

December 7th and December 8th 1941 were on the same day, different date!

December 7th and December 8th were the same day!

I was confused about the nuances of the International Date line!

My father was at Clark Field (19th bomb group) on Luzon in the Philippines on the morning of December 8th, 1941, and he said that they were listening to the radio reports about December 7th Pearl Harbor attack at breakfast when the Japanese bombs started exploding around them.

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Many people think that the Japanese waited a day to attack the Philippines, but it was actually the same physical day, just a few hours later!

How could this be?

How can it be the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was on December 7th , at about 8:00 AM while the Philippines, only -6 time zone hours to the West, was already into December 8th?

If I am in England at 8:00 AM, I know that it’s 2:00 PM in America, on the same day, and I would expect that the Philippines to have been six hours earlier on the same day, 3:00 AM on December 7th.

But that’s wrong!

But going west from Hawaii, it’s +18 hours, so that at 9:00 AM on December 7th, 1941 was 3 AM in the Philippines.

It’s bizarre, on one side of the International Date Line it’s the same hour, but a different day!

When you pass through the International Date Line at 7:00 AM on Sunday, it becomes 7:00 AM on Monday, with NO change to the hour!