December 7, 1941 – 74 Years Later

Pearl HarborFrom the Library of Congress:

On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory killing more than 2,300 Americans. The U.S.S. Arizona was completely destroyed and the U.S.S. Oklahoma capsized. The attack sank three other ships and damaged many additional vessels. More than 180 aircraft were destroyed.

A hurried dispatch from the ranking United States naval officer in Pearl Harbor, Commander in Chief Pacific, to all major navy commands and fleet units provided the first official word of the attack at the ill-prepared Pearl Harbor base. It said simply: AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NOT DRILL.

From the American Folklore Center

Broadcaster, Buffalo, New York, December, 1941: “Mr. Sullivan. What do you think about the American people? Do you think we’re ready for this?”
Sullivan: “Well…”
Broadcaster: “Your honest opinion.”
Sullivan: “We’ve never been ready for anything. But we’ve always been able to meet it.”
Broadcaster: “Do you think we’ll meet this?”
Sullivan: “I do.”

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