75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor

75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor

This marks the spot where the USS Arizona was anchored during the attack
Today, December 7, 2016, is the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, or the "date which will live in infamy." In the attack, 2,403 American civilians and military personnel were killed and 1,178 wounded. Two battleships and 188 aircraft were destroyed, and many other ships and aircraft were badly damaged. The next day, Congress declared war against Japan; a few days later, Nazi Germany and Italy declared war against the United States.
 
The attack against Pearl Harbor and the declarations of war caused a wave of patriotism across the US. Many men signed up to serve in the armed forces, and women and children did whatever they could to support the war effort at home. Dorothy Wilkinson, who worked as a "Calutron girl" at the Y-12 Plant during the war, explained, "I came to the Manhattan Project right out of high school when I graduated because I had a brother killed on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, and I thought that I would like to do something for the war effort."
 
Many of the Manhattan Project veterans we have interviewed for our "Voices of the Manhattan Project" website recall the impact Pearl Harbor had, both on their own life and the US at large. For their recollections, please see Remembering Pearl Harbor. Today, the USS Arizona Memorial and the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument provide a moving and educational experience for visitors. AHF's Alexandra Levy visited the sites in September 2016; for her account, please see  Pearl Harbor Visit.
 
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced that he will visit Pearl Harbor with President Obama on Dec. 26-27, 2016. He will become the first Japanese leader to visit the site of the attack that brought the United States into World War II. "This visit is to comfort the souls of the victims. We'd like to send messages about the importance of reconciliation" between the two countries, Abe told reporters in Tokyo. Abe's visit comes seven months after President Obama became the first sitting president to visit Hiroshima. For more on Abe's forthcoming visit, please seeJapanese prime minister plans landmark visit to Pearl Harbor