Seeds: On December 7th, 1941, Japan fighter planes attacked the American naval base in Honolulu, Hawaii named Pearl Harbor. Before this date, World War II had been in full force for approximately two years. While the relations between Japan and America were already tense because of America’s disapproval of Japanese expansion into China, the United States did not anticipate this premeditated attack by the Japanese on American soil.
Core: The two hour long attack on Pearl Harbor, while short, proved devastating. Around 2,500 soldiers, sailors, and civilians were killed and around 1,000 were wounded. American naval vessels, battleships and airplanes were also left in ruins. Click here for eyewitness accounts of the attack.
Skin: A day later Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation stating that December 7th would be a “date which will live in infamy.” In this speech, he officially declared war against the Empire of Japan in response to the attacks. This marked the start to U.S. involvement in World War II, a war which many Americans were anxious about entering at the time.
Leaves: Three days following the U.S. declaration of war on Japan, Japanese allies, Germany and Italy, declared war on the U.S. The war wouldn’t end until September 2nd, 1945 when Japan officially surrendered after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Food For Thought: Do you know anyone who was affected by Pearl Harbor?