On the Anniversary of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Dr. Weisbrot reflected on that event and addressed it's impact on the formation of US world policy and relations throughout the second half of the 20th century and to the current time.
Rotary Meeting for Monday, December 7, 2009 held at the Alfond Youth Center - Here is a recap in case you missed our meeting!

Sergeant at Arms


Matt Clark was our Sergeant of Arms today. Thanks Matt!!!!!



Kim Lindlof served as Greeter today!

50/50 Tickets


Barbara Woodlee sold $112 worth of 50/50 tickets. Ed Oliver won $56. Don Plourde won 10 free tickets to the next 50/50 drawing. Bill Arnold will be our Greeter for next week's meeting on December 13.

Fined for pictures in the Paper



Cell Phones


A $10.00 fee for cell phone ringing continues for the 2009-2010 Club year. No fines assessed today.

On Leave


World Service Cups


The World Service cups for this month will go to support Domestic Violence prevention and provide Christmas gifts for families adopted by our Club.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests


Gene Beaupre introduced Ken Eskelund.

What can you do?


* Tell Board Members what you are passionate about for community projects

* Tell the program committee about interesting speakers/topics you would like to hear

* Be involved, join a committee

* Be active

* Be positive

Happy Dollars


Jerry Tipper is happy because he spent a month in Florida. He's not happy about it, but he is having knee surgery soon.

Paula Mitchell's daughter had surgery. She is home and recovering.

Tom Longstaff became a great grandfather.

Bob Tonge noted that in the 60s our Club had made the President of Colby an automatic member. Should we consider resuming this practice?

Bob Ellis celebrated his 54th wedding anniversary by traveling with his bride to visit family in Colorado.

Elery Keene is NOT happy that the Maine National Guard is sending guardsmen to Afghanistan. He IS happy that his son John will not be among them.

Nancy Gallagher enjoyed a vegetarian dinner at Peter Garrett and Jean Ann Pollard's home Sunday evening, courtesy of Doug & Rita Sukeforth. It was a Pig Roast item.

Sarah Sugden is happy because of the Rotary Auction; for emails praising YETE received by the head of guidance at Waterville High School; the new HVAC being installed at the library by a technician who went out of his way to get the job because he considers it "his" library; and because she didn't shovel snow.



A combined fellowship event with the Waterville Sunrise Club and KV Connect will be held at 5:30 PM Tuesday, December 8 at Cacciatore's. Gift items for the Domestic Violence Shelter families may be brought to this gathering.

Charlie Gaunce needed four volunteers for Salvation Army bell ringing. He got them.

Patti Newmen is seeking a volunteer to help provide part of a Homeless Shelter meal the third Thursday of each month.

David Grenier said $34,900 in items was raised for the Radio Auction. Bidding averaged 52% of gross value. The new phone system was helpful. This was the 4th best auction ever, with a $25,858 gross. Any unredeemed items are at the Yardgoods Center. A thank-you to WABK and the Sentinel, Central Maine Motors and their IT man. We received about 800 calls each night. Thanks also to the food committee and to Nancy Gaunce for generously providing so many sweets.

Upcoming speaker schedule:


12/14/09 Ken Walsh, Alfond Youth Center

12/21/09 Holiday Program, Happy Dollars, Paul Harris recognition

12/28/09 Club Assembly, President Sarah

09-10 Board of Directors:


Sarah Sugden - President

Seth Sherwood - President Elect

Don Plourde - Vice President

Cathy Langlais - Secretary

Steve Kelleher - Assistant Secretary

Allan Rancourt - Charitable Treasurer

Don Borman - Operations Treasurer

Lucille Zelenkewich - Club Service

Suzanne Uhl-Melanson - Rotary Foundation

Ally Karter - Past President

Nancy Gallagher - Public Relations

Nikki Desjardins - Community Service

Chris Gaunce - International Service

Ed Oliver - Fundraising

Tom Longstaff - Vocational Service

Waterville Rotary Club Web Site



Today's Program: Robert S. Weisbrot, Christian A. Johnson Distinguished Teaching Professor of History at Colby College, speaking on the Pearl Harbor Invasion.


Rotarian Ed Riggs introduced Professor Robert S. Weisbrot. Weisbrot has written books for adults and young readers. He was a 2009 Pulitzer Prize finalist in history for The Liberal Hour: Washington and the Politics of Change in the 1960s with G. Calvin Mackenzie.

As we observe the 68th anniversary of the "day that will live in infamy," Weisbrot observed that the attack on Pearl Harbor had a lasting effect on how the US views international relations.

Short term effects drew us into World War II, and forever transformed US policy. What happened? US/Japanese talks were in progress in Washington at the time. Japanese pilots easily attacked lined-up ships and planes in the harbor. The attack enabled Japan to consolidate control of the Pacific. It had an aura of inevitability. Japan had been rampaging through Asia for years, and had allied with Hitler as well. The US Congress was concurrently denouncing President Roosevelt for unnecessary involvement with other countries' affairs.

World War II was preceded by a period isolationism. The Senate voted against joining the League of Nations and the World Court. The attack on Pearl Harbor changed all that. Consensus occurred that the US must rethink its strategy and abandon the illusion of safety in isolationism.

In 1947 the US created the US Intelligence Agency, introduced long-range military strategy, forged alliances, and established foreign bases throughout the globe, aiming to deter aggressors.

Pearl Harbor acts as a moral brake on our actions. During the 1962 missile crisis, Robert Kennedy argued successfully against bombing Cuba due to this. This led to a peaceful resolution.

World War II underscored the interdependability of nations. A Gallup Poll showed that 74% of Americans supported an international peace-keeping organization. Thus, the US hosts the United Nations.

The tragedy of 911 underscores the need to get accurate information.

President Obama recently called for December 7 to be a National Day of Remembrance.

COMMENTS: In 1942 Colby President Bixler invited three Nisei (Japanese-American citizens) from California to study at Colby, at a time when such individuals were being shipped to internment camps during the War years.

Q. Is there any evidence that the administration was forewarned about the Pearl Harbor attack?

A. No.

COMMENT: General Yamamoto engineered and executed the Pearl Harbor attack, but was its most vigorous opponent.

COMMENT: The Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor Rotary Clubs are now forming a bond.

Q. Was the pre-emptive strike on Iraq new in US history?

A. It is new in recent history. In the 19th century the US began expansionism to the west, the south and the Caribbean. President Bush's move was radically different in recent history.

Q. Did President Bush begin a new aggressive era?

A. President Obama was critical of this, and appears to be moving back toward forming alliances. Time will tell.