Dec 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy“, was the day of the attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor during World War II. Today, we remember that date and its losses:
- 19 vessels sunk or severely damaged
- The Arizona was totally and permanently lost
- 80 naval aircraft and 97 army planes damaged
- 49 civilian dead and 83 wounded
- 2,400 U.S. military and naval personnel were killed in the disaster
- And of course, this prompted the USA to join World War II
The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor was established to commemorate the event. Here is a link to the original audio of the speech President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave, asking for a Declaration of War. This event is a good example of historical events which will not be forgotten. Today, these events can be explored through many different media.
From our New York Times Historical database, we can see as this historical event unfolded in the past from the headlines and stories of the day:
I wanted to go to a place for some quick facts, so I went to our list of Encyclopedias. Searching for “Pearl Harbor” in Credo Reference, I found many excellent resources, as well as photographs, maps, and audio.
Here is just one of several streaming videos on the topic from our collection: a National Geographic documentary titled Pearl Harbor: Legacy of Attack. View this title and many more in our Films on Demand collection.
For more in-depth information, we can turn to the many books and ebooks on the topic provided by Touro Libraries. Some titles include:
- The classic, Day of infamy by Walter Lord, 1958
- Pearl Harbor: The essential reference guide, edited by Spencer Tucker, 2015
- Infamy: The shocking story of the Japanese American internment in World War II by Richard Reeves, 2015
- The road to Pearl Harbor: The coming of the war between the United States and Japan by Herbert Feis, 1950
- Pearl Harbor: Warning and decision by Roberta Wohlstetter, 1962
If we go out to the internet, there are many additional quality resources, from libraries, archives, and the government. Some recommended resources include Today In History, from the Library of Congress and The United States Archives website, which includes logbook entries from the affected ships.
Even though today we might be decades or more away from an historical event, through primary sources and other library resources, we can still gain a deep and immediate understanding of our past. As FDR himself said, “libraries are the great symbols of the freedom of the mind.”
Contributed by: Joan Wagner, Chief Librarian, Bay Shore