The USS California on fire in Pearl Harbour after the Japanese attack on Dec. 7, 1941. (Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images/TNS)

CHICAGO — Charles Collins thought he’d do a little Christmas shopping on Dec. 7, 1941. It was a Sunday, and he’d already filed the next installment of “A Line ‘O’ Type Or Two,” a venerable Chicago Tribune column peppered with readers’ verses and quips.

No sooner did he step outside than he heard a newspaper hawker yell: “They’re historic, and will be worth money years from now.” Headlines announced that Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor.

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