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Japanese Attack Pearl Harbor: Dec. 7, 1941

Honolulu, HI

The Japanese Navy struck the U.S. Pacific fleet at its base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Tensions between Japan and the U.S. had been building since 1937. Once World War II began in 1939, Japan tightened ties with the Axis powers of Germany and Italy while the U.S. supported the Allies. In January 1941, the Japanese targeted Pearl Harbor to neutralize the eight U.S. battleships and three aircraft carriers there. The attack lasted over 90 minutes, killing 2,403 Americans and sinking 20 U.S. vessels, including four battleships. The next day, President Franklin Roosevelt described December 7 to a joint session of Congress as β€œa date which will live in infamy,” and later that day signed a declaration of war against Japan.


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