What Event in American History Is Known as a Day That Will Live in Infamy?

On December 7, 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. This event propelled the country into World War II and forever altered the course of American history.

The Attack on Pearl Harbor

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory. The attack happened on the morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941.

The attack lasted for two hours and resulted in significant damage to eight U.S. battleships, three cruisers, and four destroyers. Additionally, almost 200 aircraft were destroyed and over 2,400 Americans were killed.

Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?

Japan’s primary goal with the attack on Pearl Harbor was to prevent the U. from interfering with its planned military expansion in Southeast Asia. Japan needed access to resources such as oil and rubber to continue its war effort in China. The U., along with other Western powers, had imposed an embargo on Japan which made it difficult for them to acquire these resources.

Impact on American History

The attack on Pearl Harbor had a profound impact on American history. It effectively ended any debate about whether or not America should enter World War II.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously declared that December 7th would be “a date which will live in infamy.” Three days later, Congress declared war on Japan.

The aftermath of Pearl Harbor also led to significant changes in American society. Japanese Americans living in the United States were subjected to discrimination and internment camps during World War II due to fears that they may be loyal to Japan.


In conclusion, the attack on Pearl Harbor is known as a “day that will live in infamy” because it was a surprise attack that resulted in significant damage and loss of life. It propelled the United States into World War II and had a lasting impact on American history. Remembering this event is important to honor those who lost their lives and to ensure that we never forget the sacrifices made by those who fought for our freedom.