79 years after Pearl Harbor: One of the most recognizable events in history

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December’s 79th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor once again put the spotlight on the event’s historical significance.

The 79th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor happened on December 7th. It is one of the most well-known events in history because it caused so many eventful things to happen with the launch of World War II. 

The attack on Pearl Harbor took place on Oahu island, Hawaii. It started at 7:55 AM, lasted for about two hours and was led by the Japanese. Interestingly enough, the Americans actually fired the first shot at a midget submarine near the entrance of the shipping dock at Pearl Harbor. Those were the first shots fired in World War II. 

More than 2,400 Americans died on that day, and over 1,000 more were wounded. One day later, one December 8th, Congress approved President Roosevelt’s declaration of war. A few days after that, Japan’s allies, Germany and Italy, declared war against the United States. The attack was very surprising, but Japan and the U.S. were edging towards war for decades. If Japan had targeted some other bigger base, which they could have and succeeded, they could have inflicted much more damage.

One of the biggest reasons why so many people died was because before the attack actually happened, the Americans filled the USS Arizona with about 1.5 million gallons of gas. A lot of that fuel helped ignite the explosions and fires that destroyed the ships. Amazingly, some fuels continue to leak out of the wreckage today. It might not be so amazing for the sea creatures, though. 

Even after that, Japan is now one of America’s strongest allies. Although people say that Japan was responsible for the attacks, Japanese tourists still visit the Pearl Harbor memorial in droves. They are the largest source of tourists in Hawaii today.