On the morning of December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan attacked U.S. military and naval forces based in Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. Often regarded as the event that marked the United States’ entry into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a joint session of the U.S. House one day after the attack and asked Congress to declare war on Japan in his landmark “Day of Infamy” speech. That same day, Congress passed a joint resolution declaring war on Japan. Three days later, Japan’s allies Germany and Italy declared war against the United States. Congress then declared war on the Axis powers on December 11, 1941, and the United States entered World War II.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is observed every year on December 7th with a commemoration held at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. The National Park Service released a press release detailing the events that will be held as part of the 80th National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration in 2021, with some events available online as livestreams or as virtual presentations. Other commemorative events will be held across the country, including the official 80th National Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Waikiki, featuring a Massed Band and Chorus as part of the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony will be livestreamed at 4:00 PM Hawaii Standard Time (HST), and the parade at 6:00 PM HST.

For further educational resources on the attack that catalyzed the country’s entry into WWII, the Library of Congress holds over 100,000 records related to Pearl Harbor in its online catalog. The primary sources in these collections offer a look into the political and popular culture surrounding the nation’s reaction to Pearl Harbor and subsequent World War II effort. Just a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Alan Lomax, then “assistant in charge” of the Archive of American Folk Song (now the American Folklife Center) sent telegrams to coworkers in ten different locations across the country, asking them to collect  “Man-on-the-Street” interviews that captured the reactions of ordinary Americans to the attack and the subsequent declaration of war by Congress. In another Library of Congress collection that illustrates the impact of the attack on Pearl Harbor on the lives of Americans, Ansel Adams, arguably the country’s most famous photographer, worked to document the Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar War Relocation Center in Inyo County, California, one of the many internment camps in which Japanese-Americans were detained due to anti-Japanese fervor in the aftermath of the attack. The National Archives and Records Administration also provides further educational resources that provide historical context to events of Pearl Harbor.