Event Page

Attack on Pearl Harbor

(1941)

The attack that took place on December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, became the most shocking military defeat in U.S. history and plunged America into World War II. Japanese planes succeeded in damaging all eight battleships anchored in the harbor and caused over 3,000 American casualties. Japan severely incapacitated the U.S. Pacific fleet, but did not anticipate how Pearl Harbor would unite a previously divided America and commit a nation to war.

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Pictures & Records (31)

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USSWestVirginia.jpg
USSWestVirginia.jpg
USS West Virginia after being bombed in Pearl Harbor.
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A view of Pearl Harbor with smoke from the Arizona rising in the air.
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Pearl Harbor Flag Flies At Hickam Field -- The Garrison Flag, Pictures, Which Flew Over Hickam Field, Hawaii, On December 7, 1941 At The Time Of The Japanese Attack, Was Raised Again At 7:55 Am Today (Hawaii Time) In Special Ceremonies At The Hawaiian Bas
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pearl-harbor.jpg
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Pearl Harbor - USS Arizona.jpg
Pearl Harbor - USS Arizona.jpg
The USS Arizona seen burning after the attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the morning of December 7, 1941. (Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, NLR-PHOCO-http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/images/uss-arizona-burning.gif
Avenge_December 7.jpg
Avenge_December 7.jpg
Propaganda poster from WWII. Source: http://astro.temple.edu/~gurwin/Avenge_December%207.jpg
Franklin Roosevelt 'Day of Infamy Speech' - pg 2
Franklin Roosevelt 'Day of Infamy Speech' - pg 2
On December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered this "Day of Infamy Speech." Immediately afterward, Congress declared war, and the United States entered World War II.
Franklin Roosevelt 'Day of Infamy Speech' draft - pg 3
Franklin Roosevelt 'Day of Infamy Speech' draft - pg 3
This is a draft copy of President Franklin Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy Speech" showing his annotations and edits.
Franklin Roosevelt 'Day of Infamy Speech' draft - pg 2
Franklin Roosevelt 'Day of Infamy Speech' draft - pg 2
This is a draft copy of President Franklin Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy Speech" showing his annotations and edits.
Franklin Roosevelt 'Day of Infamy Speech' - pg 3
Franklin Roosevelt 'Day of Infamy Speech' - pg 3
On December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered this "Day of Infamy Speech." Immediately afterward, Congress declared war, and the United States entered World War II.
Franklin Roosevelt 'Day of Infamy Speech' - pg 1
Franklin Roosevelt 'Day of Infamy Speech' - pg 1
On December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered this "Day of Infamy Speech." Immediately afterward, Congress declared war, and the United States entered World War II.
Franklin Roosevelt 'Day of Infamy Speech' draft - pg 1
Franklin Roosevelt 'Day of Infamy Speech' draft - pg 1
This is a draft copy of President Franklin Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy Speech" showing his annotations and edits.
WWII Pearl Harbor attack radiogram
WWII Pearl Harbor attack radiogram
Radiogram reporting the Pearl Harbor attack, from Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC) to all ships in Hawaiian area, December 7, 1941.
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FDR Signs Declaration of War Against Japan

Washington, D.C.

Page 2

 After the attacks at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Americans cried out for war. On December 8, Congress convened and President Roosevelt spoke the famous words, “A date which will live in infamy.” The President then asked for a declaration of war. Through a roll call vote in both houses, Congress declared war on Japan one vote shy of unanimity. This picture displays President Roosevelt signing the declaration that sent the U.S. into war with Japan and also against Hitler’s fascist Germany.

Added by Clio

The U.S.S. Arizona Sinks

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

Pearl Harbor - USS Arizona.jpg
2 images

Around 8:10 am on December 7, 1941, the USS Arizona exploded after being hit with an armor-piercing bomb in her deck. The attack began so suddenly that few crew members had time to respond. Within nine minutes the gigantic battleship sunk into the sea with 1,177 members of her crew. The muster rolls provide an interesting record of the crew that did and did not make it out of the blazing ship. After the war ended, President Eisenhower approved the construction of a memorial. The USS Arizona Memorial was designed by Alfred Preis and dedicated in 1962. Preis explained that the design of “the structure sags in the center but stands strong and vigorous at the ends, it expresses initial defeat and ultimate victory.”[1] Tragically, the attack on Pearl Harbor acted as a catalyst, and propelled Americans forward in the fight and to ultimate victory against Hitler and his Nazi comrades.

 

[1] http://www.nps.gov/archive/usar/ExtendWeb1.html, accessed August 6, 2008

Added by Clio

US Aircraft Carriers

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

Contrary to the popular believe that US Naval Intelligences did not know that Japan  was going to attack the Pearl Harbor.  In fact, many suspected that Japan was going to attack Pearl Harbor using aircraft carriers, they just didn't know when.  The captains for aircraft carriers Yorktown, Lexington, Enterprise, Saratoga and Hornet all suspected this and they made sure that no two aircraft carriers are in the harbor at same time.  And when a carrier do dock at the harbor, it was usually very short and always had several fighters in the air.

Fortunately, on the day the attack, none of the aircraft carrier were in the harbor. Also fortunate for the Americans, the battleships were sunk in shallow water of the harbor and they were able to rise all but two ( Arizona blewup was beyond repair ). Had they been sunk in the deep ocean, it would have been a different story.

Event Details

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Damages of U.S. Military:
Air Force: Destroyed 161 American planes 1
Navy: Sank or damaged 18 ships, Including the 8 battle-ships 1
Date:
From: December 7, 1941 at 7:55 am 2
To: December 7, 1941 around 10:00 am 2
Event:
Also known as: Black Sunday 2
Name: Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 2
Important Individuals:
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto: Architect of Japanese attack 2
Franklin Van Valkenburgh: Captain of USS Arizona 2
American Casualties:
nearly 3,000 2
Place:
Location: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, United States of America 2
Quote:
Franklin D. Roosevelt, December 8, 1941: “A date which will live in infamy” 2

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