PROCLAMATION 2487: United States. 27 May 1941. On 8 September 1939, as a result of the outbreak of World War II, President Roosevelt issued as proclamation declaring a limited national emergency and directing actions to strengthen national defense within peacetime authorities. On 27 May 1941 he substantially increased this level of readiness by declaring an unlimited national emergency. This proclamation directed that the military (Army), naval, air, and civilian defenses of the United States be put on readiness to repel attack. In addition to directing that civil defense be placed on readiness the proclamation called for state and local leaders and officials to cooperate with civil defense agencies to achieve two key goals:
The proclamation also called upon the citizens of the United States to:
This proclamation appears to view the role of civil defense in a much broader scope, including internal security, than the air raid precautions model prevalent in the United Kingdom and Germany. The failure to mention the primary concern of European nations, defense against air attack, is noteworthy in a civil defense context, and may reflect the perception that such attack could not reach the United States, at least in any meaningful way in the near term. Organizationally, Civil Defense in the United States did not evolve in World War II into this all encompassing approach that seems to call for defense by civilians rather than defense of civilians, a theme that also appears in Executive Order 8757 issued on 20 May 1941. However, it is interesting to note that the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2002 appears to closely approximate the scope of Roosevelt's proclamation.
Sources: "Proclamation 2487 Proclaiming That An Unlimited National Emergency Confronts This County, Which Requires That Its Military, Naval, Air, And Civilian Defense Be Put On The Basis Of Readiness To Repel Any And All Acts Or Threats Of Aggression Directed Toward Any Part Of The Western Hemisphere," location http://www.conservativeusa.org/eo/1941/p2487.htm, The Donnely Collection of Presidential Executive Orders, Proclamations, PDDs, Decision Directives and Related Presidential Documents, accessed 12 August 2003.
Entry 0389 - posted 15 August 2003