Today is December 7, 2016, which is exactly 75 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, known as “the day that will live in infamy.” At the time of the attack by the Japanese Navy, Hawaii wasn’t yet a state but it was the home of the US Pacific Fleet. The idea behind the attack was that the Imperial Japanese Navy wanted to cripple the US Navy before they’d even have a chance to stop the Japanese from advancing into the Pacific. Admiral Yamamoto decided that the best way to do this would be to attack Pearl Harbor, the base of the US Pacific Fleet and, more importantly, the three extremely important American aircraft carriers which could make or break any meeting of the two naval powers.
Fortunately for the United States, the three aircraft carriers were actually away on patrol, but the rest of the Pacific Fleet was hit by a deadly combination of Japanese bombers, submarines, and kamikaze pilots. A total of 2,403 American lives were lost that day, some stationed onboard their ships, and most onboard the USS Arizona. The Arizona was hit by four armor-piercing bombs, one of which breached the powder magazine, causing the entire thing to explode. A total of 1,177 seamen died on the Arizona that day.
Following the attack, Congress officially declared December 7 as “Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.” Although it’s not a federal holiday, it’s a day that the United States will never, and should never, forget. If you haven’t read up on the actual attack, it’s a fascinating piece of history.
Even just reading through the Pearl Harbor Attack Wikipedia page, you’ll learn a lot about the state of the world, some of the lucky and unlucky breaks the United States got during the attack, and why the Imperial Japanese Navy had no other choice but to attack Pearl Harbor. But if you’re looking for photos and pictures of the scene, check those out below.