• For Teachers & Students
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D-Day Invasion
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The Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor

In February 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the U.S. Pacific Fleet from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He intended the move to better prepare the United States to defend its possessions in the Pacific against possible Japanese aggression. Japan had spent the previous decade conquering lands in Asia and the Pacific in its quest for natural resources vital for its industry and military. Now, with conflict with the United States growing more likely, Japan planned to deal a knock-out blow to the US. The chosen location: Pearl Harbor.

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor with planes launched from aircraft carriers. The attack on Pearl Harbor and nearby airfields caused immense destruction. Eighteen ships, including five battleships, were sunk, nearly 350 planes were destroyed or damaged, and 2,386 Americans were killed, including 55 civilians. The following day, calling the attack on Pearl Harbor a “day that will live in infamy,” President Roosevelt went before Congress and asked that the U.S. declare war on the Empire of Japan.

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Secondary Sources

Middle School:

Remember Pearl Harbor: American and Japanese Survivors Tell Their Stories by Thomas B. Allen

Attack on Pearl Harbor: the True Story of the Day America Entered World War II by Shelley Tanaka and David Craig

Air Raid--Pearl Harbor!: the Story of December 7, 1941 by Theodore Taylor

High School:

Pearl Harbor Ghosts: The Legacy of December 7, 1941 by Thurston Clarke

Day of Infamy, 60th Anniversary: The Classic Account of the Bombing of Pearl Harbor Walter Lord

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Primary Source Gallery:

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Other Museum Sources about Pearl Harbor

Infamy: December 1941 - Oral histories, archival images, interactive maps and more about Pearl Harbor, Guam, Wake Island and the Philippines

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Student Travel – WWII Educational Tours
High school and college students, learn the leadership principles that helped win WWII on a trip to France or during a weeklong residential program in New Orleans. College credit is available, and space is limited.

See You Next Year! HS Yearbooks from WWII
Collected from across the United States, the words and pictures of these yearbooks present a new opportunity to experience the many challenges, setbacks and triumphs of the war through the eyes of America’s youth.

The Victory Gardens of WWII
Visit the Classroom Victory Garden Project website to learn about food production during WWII, find lesson plans and activities for elementary students, get tips for starting your own garden and try out simple Victory Garden recipes!

The Science and Technology of WWII
Visit our new interactive website to learn about wartime technical and scientific advances that forever changed our world. Incorporates STEM principles to use in the classroom.

Kids Corner: Fun and Games!
Make your own propaganda posters, test your memory, solve puzzles and more! Learn about World War II and have fun at the same time.

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