On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan attacked the American military base Pearl Harbor, located near Honolulu, Hawaii. The attack happened early in the morning while the sailors were asleep, so it was difficult for them to defend themselves. When the attack was over, 21 out of 96 ships had been sunk, with several more damaged. Because of the attack, the United States entered World War II.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was president of the United States at the time of the attack, chose to declare war on Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Prior to the attack, the United States had not been part of the war.
The attack lasted just over two hours.
There were 2,403 people killed in the attack, and 68 were civilians were among the casualties. There were 1,178 people wounded.
Japan attacked using planes to both drop bombs and fire bullets at the base and submarines to fire torpedoes.
The United States lost several ships in the attack, including the U.S.S. Arizona, U.S.S. Oklahoma, U.S.S. West Virginia and U.S.S. Nevada.
Three airfields, Hickam, Wheeler, and Bellows, were attacked as well. Of the 394 planes housed between the three airfields, 188 were destroyed and 159 were damaged.