President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it "a date which will live in infamy," and for several generations of Americans December 7 will mean only one thing: Pearl Harbor. It was on that date in 1941 that the United States naval base was bombed in a surprise attack by the Japanese Navy. The next day, the U.S. declared war on Japan. Within a week, Germany and Italy declared war against the United States, which in turn declared war on those countries. World War II officially had begun.
The Pearl Harbor torpedo and aerial attack killed more than 2,000 Americans and wounded another 1,200. Four battleships were sunk , nearly a dozen other warships were sunk or damaged, and nearly 200 planes were destroyed.
While the Japanese attack shocked Americans, there were many indications that we'd soon be in the war, despite a strong non-intervention movement within the country. Nevertheless, after the attack there was a new slogan: Remember Pearl Harbor. Click on the video to see rare color home movie footage of the Pearl Harbor attack, courtesy of the museum at Fort MacArthur.