- Thursday marks the 76th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
- 2,403 Americans died
- President Franklin Roosevelt asked for a war declaration the next day
While Japan hadn't declared war
on the United States by the time the attack began, there were some indications of a possible attack. According to The National WWII Museum
, an American cryptologist
intercepted a Japanese message regarding Pearl Harbor on December 6. Multiple reports
state that Japanese planes were seen on radar minutes before the attack, but were thought to be a group of US bombers
The attack occurred around 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning, carried out by
353 Japanese planes, 35 submarines and two battleships. Multiple American ships were damaged or destroyed in the attack -- you can see the USS Shaw on fire in the image above. More than 160 aircraft
were totally destroyed, and 2,403 Americans died
. Of those, 1,177 served on the USS Arizona
On Thursday, President Donald Trump met with six of the remaining survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack.
"Throughout the war, one great battle cry could be heard by American friends and foes alike: 'Remember Pearl Harbor,'" Trump said.
Indeed, the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor was a testament to the American spirit. Many of the ships sunk in the attack were refloated
and returned to service
. The USS Arizona still sits underwater, leaking
between two and nine quarts of oil a day, serving as a permanent reminder of what was lost that day.
President Roosevelt delivered his now-famous speech to Congress on December 8, 1941, asking for a war declaration on Japan. The most famous part of the speech -- the "infamy" line — was originally written
as "a date which will live in world history," according to the first draft now on file at the National Archives. Still accurate.
A less appreciated part of Roosevelt's speech
still rings true:
"(A)lways will our whole Nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory," he said.