Day of Infamy


Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the formal entry of the United States into World War II. Up until this point, the sentiment of a majority of Americans was that there was no reason for the country to get involved in a war in Europe. As the old saying goes, you might not be interested in war, but war is definitely interested in you. I don’t know if the Italians or Germans were all that enthused about the idea, but as part of the Axis alliance, they were bound to support Japan for better or worse. It took a while, but they definitely got the worse part of that deal.

Here is film of the speech that President Roosevelt delivered 75 years ago tomorrow. At the time, most Americans heard the speech on radio. Television was a novelty, at best. People who saw the film, saw it in theaters days or weeks later. It was certainly a different time.

As you’ll hear, the attack was more than just a strike at Pearl Harbor, but was widespread across the Pacific.

For those interested, here are some pretty good references to read about the attack,

Day of Infamy, by Walter Lord. This book was first published in the late 1950s and is somewhat dated. It does, however, have some first hand recollections of individuals. It’s well worth the read.
Tora! Tora! Tora!, is a 1970 movie that didn’t do particularly well in theaters despite it’s technical and historic accuracy, it was panned by critics. Proving that critics generally know nothing, it did okay financially. It’s almost documentary style means that you have to pay attention, but it’s worth it.

Don’t watch the trashy Pearl Harbor. It’s an inaccurate chick flick with little historic value. The CGI representation of the attack is reasonably good, but that’s all.

Because this is the 75th anniversary of the attack, there are a lot of show on cable about it. Some are better than others, so watch carefully.

Pearl Harbor is stark reminder that a nation that is perceived as weak is inviting an attack by it’s enemies. And there are always enemies.