A date which will live in infamy

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Pearl Harbor…“a date which will live in infamy”

  • Background & Motivations of Japanese

    • Japan was this areas industrial and economic leader and resented any threat its authority

    • US had control over Guam and Philippine which challenge the Japanese power along with US support of China

    • Conflict over power if Pacific had been going on since the end of WWI

    • Japan relied on US for trade

    • When war broke out in Europe that Japanese started to move into Indochina

      • FRD wanted to stop this = placed an embargo (an order of government prohibiting movement of merchant ships into or out of its port) on important naval and other supplies to the Japanese

      • Japan signed Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy in 1940 and announced that it assumed a protectorate over French Indochina

        • This made FDR increase the embargo

    • FDR embargo didn’t effect Japan greatly because they could get resources in their new possessed land

    • Japan prime minister Hideki Tojo wanted to expand but also wanted to keep US neutral

      • Both nations tried to work out their disagreements over Japans expansion, in December of 1941 Tojo gave up on an agreement and decided to attack

  • The Attack

    • On December 7, 1941 Japanese forces bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

    • Before the air attack 6 Japanese sub’s tried to sneak into the harbor

    • Admiral Chuichi Nagumo guided ships and airplanes

    • Attack the US naval base on island of Oahu

    • Targeted 8 battleships in the harbor

    • Pacific Fleet consisted of: aircraft carriers Lexington, Saratoga, and Enterprise and eight battleships Pennsylvania, Arizona, Maryland, Tennessee, West Virginia, California, Oklahoma, and Nevada

    • Japanese force consisted of 423 planes and 3 aircraft carriers

    • Demolished the U.S. American Pacific fleet and airplanes while killing many

    • Roosevelt made speech on December 8 suggesting that the US should declare war on Japan; he called this attack “a date which will live in infamy”

      • Japan—Axis power with Germany & Italy

      • US—Allies with Great Britain, France, & the Soviet Union

    • Brought the US into World War II

  • Conspiracy Theory –FDR’s Knowledge of Pearl Harbor Prier

    • Some say that he wanted to enter the war to stop the spread of totalitarianism

      • Thought he wanted to stop Hitler because he felt bad for the refugees and now that an attack from Japan happened it would spark the US citizen interest in war

      • Thought that once Hitler had concurred Europe then he would come for US

      • Many people question why the US carriers were not in the ports the day of the attack, though they were sent on a mission (to deliver additional fighters to Wake and Midway) they were scheduled to be in Pearl harbor – no memos were given to change there arrival

      • It is also questioned as to why no memo was sent to Pearl Harbor to warn them of an attack that morning but a message did arrive in Hawaii at 7:33 but was delayed as a result of the attacks

    • He was pushed by Stalin to let attack happen

      • Soviet Union had been invaded by Germans and Stalin was afraid that Japan would join in Axis power and invade from the east destroying Soviet Union and world communism

      • Some believe that many of FDR’s close advises where spies of Stalin’s helping him make decisions

    • Other who say FDR didn’t know of the attack approaching

      • If FDR was against the acts of Hitler then it was condescending of him to approve of allying with Stalin

        • Stalin killed 6 million of his own people in the Ukrainian genocide

        • Stalin helped with many of Hitler’s invasions like Poland and Finland

  • Aftermath & Effects

    • U.S. joined WWII only 60 days after the Pearl Harbor attack

    • Japanese Americans were treated harshly and sent to internment camps

    • Killed 2388 people and wounded 2000; damaged 21 American ships and 300 planes

    • Japanese lost 29 aircrafts

    • The U.S.S. Arizona, Oklahoma, and Utah

    • In 4 years all but 3 ships were repaired and put back into commission

  • Pearl Harbor vs. 9/11

    • Soon after September 11, people started comparing the surprise attack to the one at Pearl Harbor

    • Comparisons

      • After attacks, Americans had a sense of unity to go against the common enemy

      • Both attacks were on American soil and were unexpected

      • Both pushed the U.S. into the war

      • Conspiracy theories made for both situations on how much Bush and Roosevelt knew about the situation beforehand

        • Many believe that it wouldn’t have helped knowing different clues

        • Hindsight makes us believe that we would have predicted this when in reality it was unlikely that we would have put the pieces together

      • Pearl Harbor killed 2403 people while 9/11 killed around 2973

      • Losses for the enemy were small

        • Japanese-10% of attacking force couldn’t return

        • Al-Qaeda- only used 19 men and suicides

    • Contrasts

      • The Sept. 11 attacks were somewhat symbolic than Pearl harbor

        • The World Trade Center in New York was the U.S. free-market economy

        • The Pentagon embodied the U.S. military’s command center

        • Pearl Harbor was an attack to hopefully eliminate the threat of the U.S fleet in Japans hopes to expand

Presentation Outline

Japanese Motivations for the attack min.

Pictures on PowerPoint

Attack specifics min.


Conspiracy theory min.


Effects of Pearl Harbor min.


What event does Pearl Harbor resemble in history?

Pearl Harbor compared/contrasted to 9/11 Sam min.

Worksheet extra time

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