1941 – Pearl Harbor Day of Remembrance
At 0755 on December 7, 1941, the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor began with a first wave of 183 aircraft. The second wave of 170 aircraft came at 0845. The entire attack lasted just under two hours; the Japanese aircraft ended the attack at 0945. This two hour surprise attack claimed the lives of 2,403 U.S. personnel and injured 1,178. It totaled two battleships (Arizona and Oklahoma), one auxiliary ship (Utah), and destroyed 169 U.S. aircraft. Eighteen other ships and 159 aircraft were damaged.
The attack on Pearl Harbor pushed the United States to officially declare war on Japan on December 8, 1941. This declaration began the U.S. official entry into World War II. The attack came halfway through the federal government’s fiscal year. As a positive result, the proposed “war budget” was relatively modest and neither President Franklin D. Roosevelt nor Congress sought carte blanche war spending. The Congressional Research Service’s Report for Congress RS21010 details the “Initial Federal Budget Response to the 1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor.”
Anniversary events commemorating the attack on Oahu’s Pearl Harbor include boat tours of notable sites, a sunset ceremony honoring those lost on the USS Utah, a 0745 USS Arizona ceremony, a USS Oklahoma Memorial ceremony, among many community theater and organization events.