December 7th, 1941

"A day that will live in infamy"

- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

On December 7th, 1941 the Japanese military attacked Pearl Harbor in an attempt to destroy the United States Pacific Fleet.

Scroll down to learn more about the Attack.

November 26th, 1941:
Japanese navy left Japan

Adm. Chuichi Nagumo takes command of the Japanese First Air Fleet and begins moving towards Pearl Harbor. The movement was a response to the U.S.’s decision not to lift economic sanctions on Japan.

December 7th, 1941:
The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.

Just before 8 a.m., a swarm of Japanese fighter planes descend on Pearl Harbor and begin dropping bombs. The attack destroys 20 naval ships and more than 300 planes, and more than 2,000 crewmembers lose their lives.

December 7th, 1941:
News of the attack spreads.

Evening editions of daily newspapers spread the word. By evening, most of the country knows of the devastating attack.

December 8th, 1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt asks Congress to declare war with his Day of Infamy speech.

With a promise to “make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again,” President Roosevelt asks Congress to declare war on Japan. Congress approves, and three days later, Germany and Italy formally declare war on the U.S., bringing the country into World War II.

April 18th, 1942: The Doolittle raid attacks Tokyo.

Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle leads 16 American B-25 bombers on a mission to bomb Tokyo. The attack does little damage, but it does weaken the Japanese government’s prestige and shake their confidence.

June 3-7th 1942:
Battle of Midway begins.

In a grueling four-day battle, the outmatched U.S. Pacific Fleet manages to destroy four Japanese aircraft carriers while only losing one of its own. The battle comes as a major U.S. victory, and it proves that the Japanese navy was not quite as invincible as previously believed.

August, 1945:
Crew of Enola Gay prepares.

Twelve men on a top-secret mission begin preparing their plane, Enola Gay. They’ve been told their mission will either shorten or end the war, but none of them know the extent of the destruction the mission will cause.

August 6th, 1945: The U.S. drops the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Just after 8 a.m., the Enola Gay flies over the Japanese city of Hiroshima and drops the world’s first atomic bomb. About 80,000 people die from the bomb and another 35,000 are injured, but the Japanese do not surrender.

August 8th, 1945: The U.S. drops a second atomic bomb, this time on Nagasaki.

Another atomic bomb devastates the city of Nagasaki, and the destruction moves Japanese officials to action. Finally, they consider surrender.

September 2nd, 1945: The Japanese surrender on Battleship Missouri

Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemutsu signed a declaration of surrender on behalf of the Japanese government and armed forces. Supreme Commander Douglas MacArthur then signed the document of behalf of all the members of the newly-created United Nations.

USS Arizona Memorial

The USS Arizona Memorial was constructed above the battleship USS Arizona where 1,177 service members lost their lives. The Memorial was built to honor all of the 2390 Americans who died during the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941.

November 26th, 1941:
Japanese navy left Japan

Adm. Chuichi Nagumo takes command of the Japanese First Air Fleet and begins moving towards Pearl Harbor. The movement was a response to the U.S.’s decision not to lift economic sanctions on Japan.

December 7th, 1941:
The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.

Just before 8 a.m., a swarm of Japanese fighter planes descend on Pearl Harbor and begin dropping bombs. The attack destroys 20 naval ships and more than 300 planes, and more than 2,000 crewmembers lose their lives.

December 7th, 1941:
News of the attack spreads.

Evening editions of daily newspapers spread the word. By evening, most of the country knows of the devastating attack.

December 8th, 1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt asks Congress to declare war with his Day of Infamy speech.

With a promise to “make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again,” President Roosevelt asks Congress to declare war on Japan. Congress approves, and three days later, Germany and Italy formally declare war on the U.S., bringing the country into World War II.

April 18th, 1942: The Doolittle raid attacks Tokyo.

Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle leads 16 American B-25 bombers on a mission to bomb Tokyo. The attack does little damage, but it does weaken the Japanese government’s prestige and shake their confidence.

June 3-7th 1942:
Battle of Midway begins.

In a grueling four-day battle, the outmatched U.S. Pacific Fleet manages to destroy four Japanese aircraft carriers while only losing one of its own. The battle comes as a major U.S. victory, and it proves that the Japanese navy was not quite as invincible as previously believed.

August, 1945:
Crew of Enola Gay prepares.

Twelve men on a top-secret mission begin preparing their plane, Enola Gay. They’ve been told their mission will either shorten or end the war, but none of them know the extent of the destruction the mission will cause.

August 6th, 1945: The U.S. drops the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Just after 8 a.m., the Enola Gay flies over the Japanese city of Hiroshima and drops the world’s first atomic bomb. About 80,000 people die from the bomb and another 35,000 are injured, but the Japanese do not surrender.

August 8th, 1945: The U.S. drops a second atomic bomb, this time on Nagasaki.

Another atomic bomb devastates the city of Nagasaki, and the destruction moves Japanese officials to action. Finally, they consider surrender.

September 2nd, 1945: The Japanese surrender on Battleship Missouri

Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemutsu signed a declaration of surrender on behalf of the Japanese government and armed forces. Supreme Commander Douglas MacArthur then signed the document of behalf of all the members of the newly-created United Nations.

USS Arizona Memorial

The USS Arizona Memorial was constructed above the battleship USS Arizona where 1,177 service members lost their lives. The Memorial was built to honor all of the 2390 Americans who died during the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941.