It was early morning when the first wave of Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor.

By the end of the day, over 2,000 people had been killed, and the sleeping giants within hundreds of thousands nationwide had been awakened.

In the coming days, Command Posts will feature some of the giants of that day and the days that followed.

We started our Pearl Harbor series Dec. 2, 2010, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Date of Infamy” speech. Compare the draft and the final copy and you’ll see his hand-written changes, including: “A date which will live in world history infamy.”

For more information about the historic speech, visit the National Archives.

Check back in the coming days. This post will be updated to feature the coming days’ additions.

Pearl Harbor Features

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Date of Infamy” speech

  • Compare the draft with the final to see the power of a few small edits.

Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor “Chat”

  • President Franklin Roosevelt was ahead of his time, using the radio to “chat” with America.

Roosevelt and Churchill

“The Senate passed the all-out declaration of war eighty-two to nothing, and the House passed it three hundred eighty-eight to one.”  —F.D.R. to WINANT

  • The correspondence between President Franklin Roosevelt and Sir Winston Churchill in the days following the attack at Pearl Harbor.

This Is Not A Drill

  • This dispatch announced the attack on Pearl Harbor. According to the National Archives, it was received at the Squantum Naval Reserve Aviation Base on December 7, 1941 from the First Naval District.

A Navy Family’s History of Service, by P.T. Deutermann

  • Check out the Deutermann Family Band of Brothers, at Pearl Harbor, in 1928. Author P.T. Deutermann’s family has a long history of military service.

Standing Ovation to Pearl Harbor Survivors, by Carol Edgemon Hipperson

  • December 7, 2010, marks the 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Those old enough to remember that fateful Sunday morning in 1941 can tell you in great detail exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. Less than 24 hours later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said it was “a date which will live in infamy.” He was right.

Military Academy Football and Pearl Harbor

  • November 29, 1941, Army and Navy battled on the football field. The program for that day included a picture of the USS Arizona, with the caption: “A bow on view of the U. S. S. Arizona as she plows into huge swell. It is significant that despite claims of air enthusiasts no battleship has yet been sunk by bombs.” Just a week later, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the Arizona was sunk, and the football players and others at the Academies joined together in support of WWII.

Pearl Harbor Day 2010, by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen

  • Within every generation born in America there is the potential of there emerging another “Greatest Generation.” One of us meets almost daily with our youth in the military and working in politics, the other teaches college, and both of us are convinced this current generation does indeed have the “right stuff” preferably for peace, but if need be to defend that which we cherish and value. Though the living memories are fading, we the inheritors of those memories must never forget.

Declaration of War

  • Dec. 8, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a declaration of war against Japan. Three days later, on Dec. 11, 1941, he signed declarations of war against Germany and Italy.

Declaring War Against Japan: S. J. Res. 116

  • Senate Joint Resolution 116, signed Dec. 8, 1941, declared war against Japan.

Dec. 8, 1941, House Tally Sheet

  • This is the Tally Sheet of the House of Representatives for Declaration of War Against Japan. If you look closely, under the R section, you can see the one nay—from Jeanette Rankin of Montana.

U.S.S. St. Louis War Diary

  • This is the Dec. 7, 1941, entry in the War Diary of the U.S.S. St. Louis, as well as a note referring to the U.S.S. St. Louis’ status that morning. According to the diary, “at 0756 the J.O.O.W. (Gunner W.G. Wallace, U.S. Navy) observed a large number of dark olive drab planes flying towards Ford Island from the direction of Aiea Landing. These planes dropped bombs on Ford Island and the vicinity.”

Pearl Harbor Attack Investigation

  • July 20, 1946, saw the release of the Report of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Pursuant to S. Con. Res. 27, 79th Congress. It’s 600-plus pages long, but worth the time invested to read it.

Pearl Harbor and the 150th Anniversary of the Bill of Rights

  • Dec. 15, 1941, President Roosevelt addressed the nation, for the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Bill of Rights. Given just a week after the attack at Pearl Harbor, his speech underlined the guaranteed rights of the American people as a threat to Hitler’s vision.

Roosevelt and Churchill, Christmas 1941

  • In late December 1941, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill joined President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, D.C., for the Arcadia Conference. Dec. 24th, they delivered their Christmas greetings to the world, during the ceremony for the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C.

Cook Third Class Doris “Dorie” Miller

  • In 1942, Cook Third Class Doris Miller was honored for his courage at Pearl Harbor. His Navy Cross Citation honored him for “distinguished devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941.”

More to come . . .


All Americans, by Lars Anderson

  • November 29, 1941, Army played Navy in front of 100,000 fans. Eight days later, the Japanese attacked and the young men who battled each other in that historic game were forced to fight a very different enemy. Author Lars Anderson follows four players—two from Annapolis and two from West Point—in the epic true story The All Americans.

Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds, by Robin Olds, with Christina Olds and Ed Rasimus

  • It was the most memorable football game of my life. Army lost to Navy 14–6, but it didn’t seem to matter who won or lost. Fans rushed onto the field. Both teams were engulfed in a wild celebration. Spectators in the stands stood hugging and weeping. Both team alma maters were played. The national anthem was played again. Cadets and middies stood close together, all of us singing our hearts out. One week later, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

Pacific Glory, by P.T. Deutermann

  • “Retired Navy captain Deutermann’s latest novel is an epic, eloquent, and stirring tribute to those who served in the Pacific campaign during World War II. Mick is a pilot, and Marsh is an officer on a destroyer. At Annapolis, they were in love with Glory, now a nurse and a widow in Honolulu. As the novel sweeps across the Pacific in bloody confrontations with the increasingly desperate Japanese, the three protagonists are forced to confront their strengths and weaknesses. Mick is becoming a violent drunk, Marsh fears that he is a coward, and Glory is haunted by her husband’s death at Pearl Harbor. VERDICT Deutermann, a superb writer perhaps better known for his Cam Richter series (Nightwalkers), has written a war novel that is both sweeping and intensely personal. It begins with Guadalcanal and Midway and concludes with the largest naval battle in history, Leyte Gulf. Brutal yet poignant, this excellent novel will appeal to fans of David L. Robbins’s World War II novels (Broken Jewel; War of the Rats).”—Library Journal, Robert Conroy, Warren, MI

Pearl Harbor, by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen

  • This powerful saga covers the heroic highs and horrifying lows of America’s darkest day—from the White House to the Wheeler Army Air Field, from top-brass military officers, national leaders, and admirals to the ordinary citizens caught in the chaos of war. Compelling and meticulously researched, this novel of valor stretches from the chambers of the Emperor of Japan all the way back to the lonely office of Commander James Watson, an American cryptographer who suspects the impending catastrophic attack. A story of intrigue, double-dealing, the brutality of war, and the desperate efforts by men of reason on both sides to prevent a titanic struggle that becomes inevitable,Pearl Harbor inaugurates the dramatic new Pacific War series—one that entertains as well as informs—from two masters of the genre.

Radioman: An EyeWitness Account of Pearl Harbor and WWII in the Pacific, Carol Edgemon Hipperson

  • Radioman is the biography of Ray Daves, a noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Navy and an eyewitness to World War II. It is based on the author’s handwritten notes from a series of interviews that began on the eighty-second birthday of the combat veteran and gives a first-person account of the world’s first battles between aircraft carriers.

More to come . . .

Additional Resources

American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

  • After the Day of Infamy: Man-on-the-Street Interviews Following the Attack on Pearl Harbor

American Presidency Project

  • Messages, papers, and other documents from the U.S. presidents

Archive Online

  • We found the Pearl Harbor Investigation Report here, as well as a number of other valuable text documents, audio, and static and moving images.

Boston Public Library

  • Here we found information about the hearings, proceedings, exhibits, and so on, related to the Joint Committee on the Investigation of Pearl Harbor. Their online collection features valuable text documents, audio, and static and moving images.

Open CRS

  • Open CRS provides access to Congressional Research Service CRS Reports already in the public domain.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

  • Books, documents, correspondence and more.

More to come . . .