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Pearl Harbor Day - 10 Easy to Remember Facts about a Date Which Will Live in Infamy

Updated: Dec 7, 2019

The USS Arizona at Peral Harbor Burning 7 Dec 1941

“Yesterday, December 7th, 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.”

President Franklin Roosevelt Speech to Congress Dec 8th, 1941 As time passes by, as more and more of the Greatest Generation and the survivors of Pearl Harbor attack depart us, as more and more school systems turn-away from teaching proper history. The more WE need to “Remember Pearl Harbor” and the attack on Pearl Harbor attack that took place on December 7, 1941 by the Empire of Japan. The more history is forgotten, the greater the chances of it being repeated. In 1941 with war all around, the United States leadership had forgotten the teaching of Sun Tzu in the “Art of War” “mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy.” However, the United States was expecting that if the Japanese were to attack, they would do so in the Philippines, not Hawaii as they thought that the Japanese would not attempt an attack there.

The naval forces of the Empire of Japan conducted an amazing surprise aerial attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This attack was a major blow to U.S. Pacific Fleet that either sank or damaged numerus U.S. naval ships, killed and wounded thousands of military personnel and civilians, and destroyed and damaged hundreds of U.S. military aircraft, but it was not a death blow. The United States would and did recover from this dastardly attack. Although the attack on Peral Harbor was a military success for the Empire, it, in the end brought about the destruction of the Empire of Japan and the deaths of millions.

10 Easy to Remember Peral Harbor Facts

1. The Japanese launched 353 planes in two different waves of Japanese aircraft to attack Peral Harbor from six carriers. Both attacks lasted only about 90 minutes.

2. The U.S. Fleet at Peral Harbor was ill prepared for the attack.

3. Every U.S. Navy battleship docked at Peral Harbor was damaged and four were sunk.

4. 2,403 Americans were killed during the attack, and another 1,178 others were wounded.

5. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed and almost as many were damaged.

6. No U.S. Aircraft carriers were damaged as they were out at sea at the time of the attack. Note: Japanese losses were 29 aircraft, five midget submarines, 64 Japanese military personnel killed and one Japanese submariner sailor captured.

7. The USS Arizona sank with over 1,100 U.S. military personnel aboard. The ship was never recovered. Note: The USS Arizona was commissioned in 1916 for a cost of 16 million dollars.

8. The USS Arizona memorial was erected on the water above the wreck of the USS Arizona where survivors of the Peral harbor attack can be entombed following their death. Note: The USS Arizona is now considered a U.S. National Historic Landmark which is one of the most heavily visited sites in Hawaii with thousands of tourists visiting the site each year. This may surprise you, but Japanese citizens make up one of the largest groups to visit the USS Arizona as both the U.S. and Japan are now great allies.

9. On 8 December 1941 United States President Franklin Roosevelt delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress where he referred to the attack on Peral Harbor on the previous day as " a date which will live in infamy."

10. United States Congress voted to go to war with Japan within one hour of President Roosevelts speech to Congress.

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December 8th, 1941. U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt called December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy." In his speech to Congress

Franklin Roosevelt speech where he also asked Congress to declare war.

“Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7th, 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. The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack. It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu. Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island. Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation. As Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God. I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.”

Within an hour of the speech the United States Congress passed a formal declaration of war against the Empire of Japan. We were now in WWII.

Pearl Harbor Links:

Pearl Harbor National Memorial Hawaii

Iibrary of Congress

National Archives: FDR’s “Day of Infamy” Speech Crafting a Call to Arms

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