Pearl Harbor Day

In his speech to Congress following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt described December 7, 1941 as “a date which will live in infamy”.

About 360 Japanese planes launched from six different aircraft carriers attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii. The Sunday morning attack achieved total surprise. The battleships Arizona and Oklahoma were destroyed. The California, Nevada, and West Virginia sank in shallow water. Numerous other vessels were also damaged. More than 180 aircraft were destroyed. More than 2,300 military personnel were killed and about another 1,100 injured. The Japanese lost fewer than 100 men.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet was crippled by the attack, but the three fleet aircraft carriers were not in port at the time of the attack. The Japanese also missed the opportunity to destroy large oil storage facilities on the island.

On December 8, President Roosevelt asked Congress for a declaration of war against Japan, which was granted with only one dissenting vote. The attack unified popular support for the war and served as a rallying cry throughout the conflict.

Today, the National Park Service runs the USS Arizona Memorial, which “is the final resting place for many of the battleship’s 1,177 crew members” and “commemorates the site where World War II began for the United States”.

Related Links

  • Pearl Harbor¬†Day
    History.com and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt present videos, a photo gallery, and links to related articles on Pearl Harbor and World War II.
  • “A Date Which Will Live in Infamy”: FDR Asks for a Declaration of War
    The “History Matters” website offers the beginning of FDR’s speech to Congress asking for a declaration of war. Text and audio available.
  • USS Arizona
    National Park Service site for the USS Arizona Memorial. Information about visiting the memorial is available along with articles, photos, and videos about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

11 Comments

  1. nettie says:

    i learnd in 4th grade about pearl harbor and i cryed through a book i read and i hope nothin g like that (but it war is always hapining)that would never again happen

    • Roli says:

      My personal thnkas to those who served.a0 My Dad *never* talked about WWII, nor about Pearl Harbor.a0 Don’t know if he was there or not at the time of the bombing, although he was at Hickham Field when it was being built.a0 Got the 8mm film to prove it!Thanks for all you did and still do, Bob.a0 Never forget.Trishmac, unfortunately we ARE letting this happen again!a0 Think Iran + open borders + gunrunner + a million other stupid Gubmint policies that leave us w-i-d-e open.a0 Totals up to quite a bad sum. Are you prepared?

    • Iris says:

      Thank you AGXIIK… My father left this world in 95… I’m thkfnaul that I was able to hear his experiences from him first hand… To hear of the awful life he and so many others had to endure while being a POW.. It is unbelievable what they had to go through… I’m sorry for your loss AGXIIK and for the fact that your father had to suffer all that time due to injuries sustained from the coward politicians playing games… It’s all numbers to them… Somebody should round up all the politicians and let them fight the battles they create.. Bet that wouldn’t last long!

  2. WOW says:

    My great, great, great, uncle drove a boat away from the harbor to save it.

  3. WOW says:

    My great, great, great, uncle drove a boat away from the harbor to save it.

  4. Brandon says:

    If u go to the memorial and go look out to where the U.S.S Arizona got sunk you can see the oil in the ocean, because that still to this day 70 years later its still leaking oil.

    • Aliza says:

      I hear you Anon 3.10 My dad served in the Navy from 1936 until he was weondud badly when his ship was torpedoed by a Japanese sub in April 1945. He died in 1952 from these war wounds. My step dad flew Lancasters for the RCAF from 1943-45. He got lucky and came home after 33 missions. My wife’s father flew P51’s in WWII and made it home in 1945. Your dad called them ‘little friends’ I’d like to think he flew beside your dad’s plane. These were brave men who served this country honorably. They are almost gone now but we would be very uncharitable to not honor their memory. They did not start the war. They did not start the progressive liberal programs. Those were started by FDR. If your father is still with us please give him a call today and thank his for his service. If he is not, then we will all say a prayer for him and the millions of men who have gone the way of the soldier

    • Tomoko says:

      I was 10 years old and my dad had the radio on. The news broke while I was doing my homework. It was the first time my dad let me lietsn to the radio while I did my homework! Normally, lietsning to the radio was only reserved for when the chores were done. Radio was like TV back then, you learned EVERYTHING from it. I still remember my dad’s sadness when he heard the news like it was yesterday. The war affected us greatly, we were farmers. We could NO longer buy rubber tires for the tractor because it was soon rationed for the war effort. We even had to use horses to do some plowing. Hard times and memories.

  5. Brandon says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_f9A3fwn6w
    first radio broadcast of Pearl Harbor

    • Cecil says:

      God Bless the USA. May we never forget, and never let this heppan again.Thank you Bob, for your service. And thanks to all those who have worn the uniform and lived and died for this country. We owe everything we havea0to you all.

  6. Kadir says:

    Oh. You can see how my comment aeplips anyway.I say subversive. I bet Yoshikami didn’t hear the Pearl Harbor quote until after the story ran, or maybe when he got an angry phone call from his mother.