The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 marked the most devastating foreign assault ever on American soil. Over 2,000 soldiers and sailors were killed and 1,000 wounded. The following primary source set on the attack depicts both the attack itself and its aftermath. The pictures, videos, and maps contained in the set paint a vivid picture of the immense loss of life and impact on the American people. By examining these primary sources, students will gain an understanding of:
- The extent of the attack by Japanese forces on the US Pacific Naval fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor.
- The physical and emotional impact of the attack on the Americans at Pearl Harbor.
- How Americans responded to the attack over the course of its two waves.
- How Americans began the process of rescuing and treating the wounded.
- How the style and viciousness of the Japanese attack fueled American hatred for their new enemy.
This primary source set can be used in conjunction with other secondary sources to gain a complete picture of Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor and the immediate response of American sailors, airmen, divers, and nurses. This primary source set is geared towards teachers and students of US History II and World History II. View more details, and download or access the lesson plan online. Developed during the 2015 History in Motion program, a collaboration between Emerging America and the Library of Congress.