• Pearl Harbor National Monument

    On December 7, 1941 the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service launched a surprise military attack by air on a U.S. naval base in Honolulu, Hawaii. The damage was terrible and the U.S. declared war on Japan the next day, launching the country into World War II.

    Pearl Harbor National Monument

    Fun Facts

    • The United States had hoped to remain neutral during World War II, believing it was a conflict for Europe to sort out. Japan and the United States were experiencing conflict over oil supplies and U.S. and European involvement in Asian countries.
    • Then on December 7, 1941, the Japanese navy attacked Pearl Harbor with 353 Japanese aircraft which were launched from six carriers.
    • Eight U.S. navy battleships were damaged, four of them sunk. 188 aircrafts were destroyed, 2,403 Americans were killed, and 1,178 were wounded. The Japanese lost 64 men and 29 aircraft.
    • The U.S. navy was completely unprepared for the attacks. Guns weren’t even loaded or manned. The two countries had been engaged in peace talks and there had been no hint of an attack. Because of that, President Franklin D. Roosevelt harshly condemned Japan, calling December 7 “a date which will live in infamy.”

      A Date Which Will Live In Infamy

    • The next day, the United States officially declared war on Japan. On December 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S., along with Japan. America was no longer neutral and would send troops to Europe, Africa, and Asia.
    • Today, a museum and monument are open at Pearl Harbor to memorialize the people who died there.



    1. Neutral: without taking a side
    2. Troops: soldiers


    Questions and Answers

    Question: What happened to the ships that sunk?

    Answer: Three of them were raised and used again. The Arizona was hit by a 1,760 pound bomb that lifted the ship out of the air and caused a massive explosion. 1,177 men were killed instantly and the ship was completely destroyed.


    Learn More

    Visit the website for the National Monument.


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Declan, Tobin. " Pearl Harbor National Monument Facts for Kids ." American History for Kids, May 2024. Web. 22 May 2024. < https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/pearl-harbor-national-monument/ >.

APA Style Citation

Tobin, Declan. (2024). Pearl Harbor National Monument Facts for Kids. American History for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/pearl-harbor-national-monument/

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