Pearl Harbor Day: Remembering the attack

By CNN Staff

Published December 7, 2020

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On December 7, 1941, Japanese forces launched a surprise attack on the Pearl Harbor naval base on Oahu, Hawaii.

Library of Congress

The strike began just before 8 a.m. on a Sunday, carried out by a strike force that included 353 Japanese planes, 35 submarines and two battleships.

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Multiple American ships were damaged or destroyed. More than 160 aircraft were destroyed.

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While Japan hadn't declared war on the United States prior to the strike, there were some indications of a possible attack.

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According to The National WWII Museum, an American cryptologist intercepted a Japanese message regarding Pearl Harbor on Dec. 6.

National Archives/Defense Department

The strike killed more than 2,400 Americans, and it catapulted the United States into World War II.

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The USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii marks the resting place of the crewmen killed that day.

December 7 has since been remembered as, in President Franklin Roosevelt's words, "a date which will live in infamy."

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