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December 7: “A Date Which Will Live in Infamy”

The Air Raid on Pearl Harbor occurred on December 7, 1941 when Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory. The attacks killed more than 2,300 Americans. 

The U.S.S. Arizona was completely destroyed and the U.S.S. Oklahoma capsized. A total of twelve ships sank or were beached in the attack and nine additional vessels were damaged. 

More than 160 aircraft were destroyed and more than 150 others damaged. 

A hurried dispatch from the ranking United States naval officer in Pearl Harbor, Commander in Chief Pacific, to all major navy commands and fleet units provided the first official word of the attack at the ill-prepared Pearl Harbor base. It said simply: AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NOT DRILL. 

The next day President Franklin Roosevelt called December 7 “a date which will live in infamy” when addressing a joint session of Congress. 


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