Attack on Pearl Harbor: On This Day, December 7

Shortly before 8 a.m. on Sunday, December 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack against US armed forces in Hawaii. The Japanese targeted the Army, Navy, and Marine airfields before bombing the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. The bombardment lasted nearly two hours and left 2,403 Americans dead and another 1,178 wounded. Two hours after the attack, Japan officially declared war on the United States. Life changed overnight across the United States as the nation geared up for war. 


Visit the Gilder Lehrman Collection exhibition of Pearl Harbor photographs and documents at the New-York Historical Society and read about a diary of a sailor on the eve of the attack.