December 7, 1941, “A Date Which Will Live in Infamy”

Photograph taken from a Japanese plane during the torpedo attack on ships moored on both sides of Ford Island

Just before 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii.  The planes destroyed or damaged nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight battleships, and over 300 airplanes.  More than 2,400 Americans died in the surprise attack, some of which were civilians.  Approximately 1,000 people were wounded.  On December 8, President Franklin Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan.  President Roosevelt began his speech by saying “Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

On August 23, 1994, Congress passed a joint resolution (Public Law 103-308) which designated December 7 of each year as “National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.”  Today, we honor those patriots who were wounded and who perished on December 7, 1941,


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