Tuesday, June 18

We Were There at Pearl Harbor

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AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR  X  THIS IS NOT A DRILL   
 
Those are the words that were hurriedly sent from a Navy officer in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to all major Navy commands on the morning of December 7th, 1941.

A fleet of Japanese planes attacked the US Naval Base early that morning, killing more than 2,300 Americans and destroying the fleet of ships and aircrafts housed there.  Both the USS Arizona and USS Oklahoma quickly became death traps for men left alive onboard.

The following day, President Roosevelt gave a speech declaring war on Japan and bringing the US into World War 2.  Due to alliances with Japan, Germany and Italy declared war on the US shortly thereafter.  The bombing of Pearl Harbor set into motion US involvement in World War 2.

See other major events from World War 2 in the We Were There series, including the Battle of Britain, Battle for Bataan, Battle of the Bulge, and Opening of the Atomic Era.


Read
Make / Do
Watch
Define / Identify
  • Battleship Row
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • U.S.S. Arizona
  • Japan
  • Hawaii
  • Hong Kong
  • Guam
  • Philippine Islands
  • Wake Island
  • Midway Island
Think
  • Why do you think President Franklin Roosevelt called the bombing of Pearl Harbor “a date that will live in infamy?”
  • Why was there no declaration of war before the attack?  Why do you thing that Japanese Admiral Yamamoto feared that the attack on Pearl Harbor would eventually be detrimental to Japan’s cause?
Primary sources - Draft of the 'Day of Infamy' speech & telegram for the media to get 'colorful people' on the news

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