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Honolulu Star-Bulletin, front page, December 7, 1941

Japan’s attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet took place at 7:55 a.m. Hawaiian time at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu. It damaged or destroyed more than 300 aircraft and 21 military vessels and claimed nearly 2,400 lives. Congress passed a declaration of war against Japan on December 8, 1941, marking America’s entry into World War II.

Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, front page, December 7, 1941

The Pearl Harbor Attack

On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, killing thousands and destroying U.S. military ships and planes. Congress declared war against Japan the following day. At the end of the war, after seven military and presidential investigations had identified different reasons for the lack of U.S. preparedness at Pearl Harbor, Congress created a joint committee to review possible lapses in intelligence. Its findings led Congress to pass the National Security Act of 1947 to modernize national security agencies and coordinate military readiness.

The completely ineffective liaison between the Army and the Navy in Hawaii at a time when the fullest exchange of information was absolutely imperative dictates that military and naval intelligence, particularly, must be consolidated.

Pearl Harbor Committee, Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, July 20, 1946