07 December 2015

On This Day: Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor

It was On This Day in 1941, at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, destroying a large portion of the US Pacific fleet and bringing the United States into World War II. It was, as President Franklin D Roosevelt declared, truly a day that would live in infamy.

Being a Sunday morning, most of the ships anchored at Pearl Harbor were only lightly manned. In the end, 18 US ships were destroyed, sunk or capsized. Over 3,000 Americans were among the casualties and another 2,400 killed.

That morning the Harrisburg Telegraph ran a three lone, all capitals bolded headline announcing the bombing. The paper ran various articles about the bombing, the war, and Pennsylvania’s involvement. One noted that PA Governor James instructed State Police to be “in readiness for immediate action.”

Congress quickly declared war on Japan. The Senate voted unanimously 82 to 0. In the House however there was but one lone single dissenting vote. Jeanette Rankin, a Republican congresswoman from Montana, voted against declaring war. According to the Lock Haven Express, both Pennsylvania senators – James J. Davis and Joseph F Guffey - voted in favor of the resolution.

The New York Fire Commissioner Patrick Walsh ordered all firemen on alert and warned them to be ready for a blackout. The US Navy announced a censorship on all outgoing communication.

In the Panama Republic police were rounding up the Japanese and took them to Colon. That same day, the Dutch East Indies, Costa Rica and Canada also declared war on Japan.


“A date which will live in infamy.” This Day in History, 1941. History.com.

Harrisburg Telegraph. (Harrisburg, PA), 7 December 1941. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.

The Express. (Lock Haven, PA), 8 December 1941. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.

On This Day is a prompt to further explore historical events.


© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment

Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.