December 7, 1941; A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

Posted on December 7, 2021

Today marks the 80th Anniversary of the air raid on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, killing more than 2,300 Americans.

The next day, President Roosevelt delivered a speech before a joint session of Congress during which he said, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 a date which will live in infamy the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that Nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American Island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.”

He concluded the speech saying:

“No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces—with the unbounding determination of our people—we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God. I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”

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.

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