Pearl Harbor Day
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, also referred to as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or Pearl Harbor Day, is observed annually in the United States on December 7, to remember and honor the 2,403 citizens of the United States who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941.
What was Pearl Harbor?
Pearl Harbor was the surprise aerial attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on Oahu Island, Hawaii, by the Japanese that entered the United States officially into World War II.
The Effects of The Attack
The raid, which came with no warning, destroyed four battleships and damaged four more in just two hours. It also destroyed 188 US aircraft. While 100 Japanese perished in the attack, more than 2,400 Americans were killed, with another 1,200 injured.
Why did the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor?
The causes of the attack on Pearl Harbor stemmed from intensifying Japanese-American rivalry in the Pacific. Japan became seen as a serious threat to the economic interests and influence of the US and European powers in Asia. By July 1937, with Japan engaged in all-out war with China, relations plunged to new lows. US President Roosevelt imposed economic sanctions, and Japan turned to the Axis powers, signing the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy in September 1940. Roosevelt continued to avoid direct confrontation. But Japan’s imperial ambitions in the Pacific had placed her on a collision course with the United States, which controlled the Philippines and had extensive economic interests throughout the region. When the US imposed an oil embargo on Japan, threatening to suffocate her economy, Japan’s response was to risk everything on a massive pre-emptive strike which would knock the US out of the Pacific, clearing the way for a Japanese conquest of resource-rich South East Asia.
The Japanese achieved complete surprise at Pearl Harbor.
What did the attack do to America?
To Japan, the attack was deemed a success yet a terrible failure. They had awoken America, known as the "sleeping giant". Within a matter of hours of the attack, America was moving quickly to get on a war footing. American attitudes about the war changed radically, and so did American attitudes about the economy, about giving to the war.The day following the attack, the US declared war against Japan. On December 11, 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States, bringing America into World War II. Entering the war also effectively ended the Great Depression in America.
Left: A picture of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Right: The USS Arizona Remains