December 7th 1941: Attack on Pearl Harbor
On this day in 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Over 2,000 Americans were killed in the strike, whereas under 100 Japanese were killed or wounded. Prior to this, the United States had maintained official neutrality in World War Two, but the attack led to US involvement. After declaring war on Japan the following day, Germany and Italy promptly declared war on the US, thus bringing in the US as a major Allied power in the war.
"Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
- US President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s December 8th speech to Congress asking them to declare war