Pearl Harbor

Attack on Pearl Harbor Japanese planes view

The Attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack by Japan against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on the morning of December 7, 1941. It is what led the United States into World War II. Japan carried out the attack so that the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which was a collection of ships that the United States could use in a war, would not enter the war that Japan was planning in Southeast Asia, against Britain and the Netherlands, as well as the U.S. in the Philippines. The attack was made up of two aerial attack waves totaling 353 aircraft, launched from six Japanese aircraft carriers. Their commander was Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. 2,390 people died in the attack. All the eight American battleships in the harbor were sunk, but the American aircraft carriers were elsewhere. Japan declared war on the United States the same day.

After the attack

The next day, United States president Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a speech to Congress. In his speech, President Roosevelt said that December 7 was “a date which will live in infamy”. Most Americans listened to the speech on the radio. A few minutes after the speech ended, Congress voted to declare war on Japan.