Japan’s surprise attack of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 was a dramatic event that destroyed and wrecked at least eighteen U.S. vessels and 188 planes, while killing some 2,400 Americans. The experience was spectacular and horrifying. Yet the impact of the military operation far transcended the immediate damages it inflicted on the strategically valued harbor. Throughout the years afterwards, the “day of infamy” would yield far-reaching influence on politics, diplomacy, society, and culture in the United States, Japan, Hawai’i, and other parts of the world.
SHAFR.org is proud to present a roundtable on the Pearl Harbor attack as we approach its seventieth anniversary. We have asked four historians—Emily S. Rosenberg, Greg Robinson, John Gripentrog, and Yujin Yaguchi—to reflect on this fateful experience and address its broader significance. The contributors offer insight on a wide range of issues, including politics, diplomacy, memory, popular culture, racism, and education. We hope this forum will aid readers in grasping the complexity of this important event.