Today in History

1941: Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbour

On Dec. 7, 1941, the American Pacific fleet, moored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is attacked by Japanese planes. The damage is extensive – 19 naval vessels are badly damaged or sunk, 188 American aircraft are decimated, more than 2,300 are killed and 1,109 are wounded. In this address to the United States of America, President Franklin Roosevelt declares war on Japan. “Always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against them,” he says conclusively.

Canadians also rally against the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Many feel this assault brings the war dangerously close to the home front. Japanese Canadians, already a community subject to prejudice, anticipate more restrictions.

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