The American Republic Since 1877
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Chapter 19: A World in Flames, 1934–1941
"A Date Which Will Live In Infamy"

As you learned in this chapter, tensions between the United States and Japan intensified when Japan began to expand its empire in Asia and the Pacific. President Roosevelt hoped to halt the Japanese advance with strategic materials embargoes and negotiations. Even as Japanese envoys came to Washington, their military leaders prepared to strike the United States. At Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, just before 8 A.M. on December 7, 1941, American sailors looked up into the skies to see the first wave of Japanese bombers approaching the island. As the deafening thunder of exploding bombs rolled over the naval base, telegraph operators sent out the message: "AIRRAID ON PEARL HARBOR: THIS IS NO DRILL." At this Web site you can navigate a multimedia map and time line to explore the events of the attack that would ultimately unify the American people in support of World War II.

Destination Title: Remembering Pearl Harbor

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Start at the Remembering Pearl Harbor Web site.

  • Click on Multimedia Map and Time Line.
  • Click on Begin in the lower right corner.
  • Use the arrows in the lower right corner to browse through the time line, taking notes as you go. Be sure to click on the "Full Story" links to see photos, link to audio clips, see archival video, and read more about the attack.

Read through the information, and then answer the following questions.

1.  What reasons do survivors give for being surprised at the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor?

2.  What was the Japanese strategy in the Pearl Harbor attack?

3.  What problems did many sailors have when they abandoned ship?

4.  What happened to the USS Arizona?

5.  Imagine that you are a survivor who is recuperating in a hospital after the attack on Pearl Harbor. On a separate sheet of paper, write a letter to President Roosevelt expressing your thoughts about the decision to declare war on Japan. Use details and imagery to describe what you and your fellow service personnel experienced that day.

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The American Republic Since 1877
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