Today marks the 75th anniversary of the devastating surprise attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy, which led directly to the entry of the United States into World War II. As prophesized all those years ago by President Franklin Roosevelt, December 7, 1941 remains a date that lives in infamy.
A few facts from the library’s U.S. History in Context database: The Japanese sank or severely damaged eighteen ships, including eight battleships, three cruisers, and three destroyers. At Wheeler Air Field, 161 U.S. planes were destroyed and another 102 were significantly damaged. More than 3,500 Americans, including soldiers, sailors, Marines and civilians were killed or wounded.
The next day, Congress voted to approve President Roosevelt’s request for a declaration of war against Japan. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war against the United States, and the U.S. government responded in kind. The American contribution to the successful Allied war effort spanned four years, and cost more than 400,000 American lives (History.com: 12/7/16).
Still in operation today, the naval base at Pearl Harbor is now also home to several memorials that honor the sacrifice of those who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor, as well as those who served in the Pacific theater during WWII. It is estimated that 2 million people visit the memorials each year.
A slew of new materials are now on library shelves to commemorate this significant anniversary. Here’s a quick list to get you started. Use the links provided in each title to check availability in our catalog.
Documentaries on DVD:
75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor (245 minutes; Arts and Entertainment Network)
Pearl Harbor: Into the Arizona (60 minutes; Public Broadcasting System)
Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness by Craig Nelson (Also available in Large Type, eBook and CD Audiobook formats)
Seven Days of Infamy: Pearl Harbor Across the World by Nicholas Best
All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor’s Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor by Donald Stratton
Dawn of Infamy: A Sunken Ship, A Vanished Crew, and the Final Mystery of Pearl Harbor by Stephen Harding
The Marines in WWII by Michael Haskew
Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack by Steve Twomey
A Matter of Honor. Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame, and a Family’s Quest for Justice by Anthony Summers (also available in CD Audiobook format)
Classic films worth revisiting: Pearl Harbor; Tora! Tora! Tora! and In Harm’s Way
Be sure to browse our catalog for other great materials about Pearl Harbor for both adults and children.