On this day in 1941, the United States was suddenly thrust into World War II, a war that would ravage much of Europe and the Pacific theater. Every December 7th is set aside to remember those killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. More than 2,300 people died and a good portion of the United States Pacific Fleet was destroyed. The date that President Franklin Roosevelt said “shall live in infamy” became a defining moment in American history. Within months the U.S. had put its full industrial might into defeating Japanese imperialism in Asia and Nazi Germany’s agression in Europe.
Here we are, 70 years later, and each year that passes means that those who lived through the attack are slowly being lost to history. How do you, as teachers, keep the subject of Pearl Harbor relevant with students today? How do you help these students grasp the magnitude of the attacks and its effects on the United States and the world for the decades to follow?