Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service just before 08:00 on December 7, 1941, on the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii. While planning the attack, the Japanese military leadership referred to it as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI. The next day, the United States formally entered World War II.
During the summer of 1941, the Japanese government decided to attack Pearl Harbor after the United States cut off its oil exports to Japan. With the United States providing 80 percent of its oil, Japan’s navy would not operate. During the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, they hoped to cripple or destroy the US Pacific Fleet, thereby allowing their navy free access to the Pacific.
Congress declared war on Japan that day, as Roosevelt requested in his speech. Three days later, Japan’s allies Germany and Italy declared war on the United States, and Congress reciprocated the same day. US entry into the war was no longer opposed domestically. America was now engaged in two simultaneous wars in the Pacific and Europe.
Here are some rare photos were taken by LIFE photographer Bob Landry from Hawaii and the mainland following the 1941 attack.
Your conduct and action have been splendid. While you have suffered from a treacherous attack, your commander-in-chief has informed me that your courage and stamina remain magnificent. You know you will have your revenge. Recruiting stations are jammed with men eager to join you.