Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941: A Date That Will Live in Infamy
The Meaning Behind A Date That Will Live In Infamy
It was a day that would live in infamy. That part you already know, recalling President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s vivid judgment of the Japanese Empire’s attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. But there is more to the story than just a surprise assault followed by a speech. The attack on Pearl Harbor culminated months of bitter and tense diplomacy, and even more importantly, ended debate on one of the most contentious and divisive issues in all of American history: the country’s potential intervention in World War II, and more broadly, its engagement with the wider world. The infamous attack on Pearl Harbor thrust the United States into the war, at least formally, but in truth the country was already a participant, and December 7, 1941, ultimately colored far more about America’s global role than just an immediate call to arms. It was a day that would live on, beyond infamy, daily through to the 21st century.
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