A date which will live in infamy

7 December 2013

On this day in 1941, the Japanese launched an attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor (it pains me to spell it that way), Hawaii, and other military installations nearby, an event which brought the USA somewhat belatedly into World War II. Four battleships and forty-two aircraft were destroyed, many more were badly damaged, and over 2,400 members of the US armed forces lost their lives.

In his address to Congress on 8 December 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to 7 December as ‘a date which will live in infamy’. Now known as Pearl Harbor Day or National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, it is commemorated annually throughout the USA.

The December 8, 1941 issue of the Manitowoc Herald-Times had the headline “U.S. Declares War”. Other Pearl Harbor newspaper articles detailed the congressional vote to declare war on Japan: The House vote was 388 to 1, with Jeannette Rankin of Montana being the only dissenting voice. The Senate vote was unanimous at 82 to 0. Also joining the US against Japan was ally Great Britain, who likewise declared war on Japan.

Many Pearl Harbor articles and newspapers are available online on the Archives.com website.

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