Hawaii under martial law was like ‘military dictatorship’ (1941-1944) | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Hawaii under martial law was like ‘military dictatorship’ (1941-1944)

Islanders suffered under nearly three years of martial law from 1941-1944; so oppressive that it was later described by a federal judge as a “military dictatorship.” All manner of civilian liberties were replaced by oppressive military orders enforced by American soldiers.

The dark period of Hawaiian history began on December 7, 1941, with the massive surprise attack of Japanese bombers on the U.S. Naval Base Pearl Harbor. The air raid successfully sunk or grounded 18 ships and killed 2,403 Americans.

As the smoke billowed from the harbor, Lieutenant General Walter Short met with Territorial Governor Joseph Poindexter to convince him to declare martial law. Being coerced through tactics discussed below, Gov. Poindexter reluctantly ceded power to the military — temporarily, or so he thought.

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