It's Pearl Harbor Day, a day we set aside in America to commemorate "a date which will live in infamy," as President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed December 7, 1941. It's the day when the Imperial military forces of Japan bombed military targets in Hawaii or, through what many term a "sneak attack."
Today, a more recent attack such as 9/11 is something those younger than 10 may not remember, so Pearl Harbor continues to fade as those who remember it also pass on. But Pearl Harbor is considered one of the times that Americans really experienced war on the homefront.
So this Patch Picks is dedicated to remembering and learning new facts about Pearl Harbor:
353: The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, Wikipedia states, which were launched from six aircraft carriers.
Death Toll: On that day in 1941, approximately 2,402 people were killed.
People Injured: About 1,282 people were wounded at Pearl Harbor.
U.S. Navy Damage: All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, and four sunk. All but two of the eight were raised, repaired and returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship and one minelayer.
188: One hundred eighty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed.
Perspective: During that time, the U.S. then had only 48 states. Hawaii was a territory that gained statehood in 1960. The Salk vaccine, credited with halting the polio epidemic in the U.S., had not been developed.
Vessels: The Arizona and the Utah are the only vessels still sitting in the harbor. The ashes of three others will be scattered in the water in separate ceremonies this week, CBS News states.
USS Arizona: Almost half of the casualties at Pearl Harbor occurred on the naval battleship USS Arizona, which was hit four times by Japanese bombers, History.com states.
What Prompted the Attack: In brief, President Roosevelt moved the Pacific fleet to Hawaii from its previous base in San Diego and ordered a military buildup in the Philippines in the hope of discouraging Japanese aggression in the Far East, Wikipedia states. But some say this backfired, causing the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor and thus dragging the U.S., which had been taking an isolationist position, into World War II.
War Declaration: The following day, Dec. 8, the United States declared war on Japan, HistoryLink states.