Every year but one, that is.
In 1942, the Rose Bowl game between Oregon State and Duke University was moved from Pasadena to Durham, North Carolina.
As the U.S. prepared to enter World War II, large public gatherings were considered risky on the West Coast because of fears of a Japanese attack. The bombing of Pearl Harbor, which took place just a few weeks earlier, was very much on everyone’s mind. It was thought the game would be safer 2,500-hundred miles away.
As we approach the 75th anniversary of the 1942 Rose Bowl, journalist Brian Curtis has published a book about the game – and about the men who played it. Most joined the armed forces, many fought in the war, and several died in combat.
Curtis’s book is called “Fields of Battle: Pearl Harbor, The Rose Bowl and the Boys Who Went to War.”
KCRW spoke to Curtis about the Rose Bowl in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor.