Remembering Pearl Harbor: Resources for the 70th Anniversary

Tue 29 2011

September 11, 2011, marked the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC. Next week, December 7, 2011, will mark the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Though news sources, lesson plans, and other materials draw parallels between the attacks, it is important to remember that they occurred in different times and places. What led to the attack on Pearl Harbor? What did the attack entail? What effect did it have on the U.S.? How was the attack memorialized (or not) in later years?

We've gathered all of our resources on the attack on Pearl Harbor on our spotlight page, Remembering Pearl Harbor. Learn about the attack and popular memory with oral history, discover lesson plans and more exploring the context of the attack, and uncover photographs of U.S. participation in World War II.

After you've explored our spotlight, check out these websites for more resources on Pearl Harbor and the anniversary:

  • Read the one-line naval dispatch that was the first official announcement of the attack at the Library of Congress's December 7 "Today in History" feature, and check out suggestions for teaching about Pearl Harbor with oral history and music. The Library has also assembled a small collection of oral histories in honor of the anniversary.
  • NARA examines the same naval dispatch, and suggests ways to use it with students. You can also view photos of the attack.
  • Take advantage of EDSITEment's lesson plans on pre-World War II relations between the U.S. and Japan and on World War II's Pacific theatre.
  • Find lesson plans and essays on U.S. involvement in World War II in the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History's online journal, History Now.
  • At, watch video clips of the attack, oral history interviews, and presidential addresses, and explore an interactive on the theatres of World War II.
  • Get students thinking about the attack's connections to today with a lesson plan from the New York Times.
  • Read front-page headlines from the day of and the day after the attack, courtesy of the Washington Post. The Post also lists widespread myths about Pearl Harbor.

About the Author

Lara Harmon is a Senior Research Associate for She received her BA from George Mason University.