Explore how Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor helped unite Americans as the nation entered World War II
On Oct. 16, Chandler Museum will unveil a new special exhibit called “Infamy: December 7, 1941.” Produced by The National WWII Museum, the exhibit will explore the events that followed Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, which ultimately led to America’s entry into World War II. Following the attack, communities across the country united behind the war effort, performing diverse tasks to help the Allies, no matter how large or how small.
The Sunday morning attack at Pearl Harbor marked one of the darkest days in US history – with President Franklin D. Roosevelt declaring, “December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy.” Taking off from a fleet of Japanese aircraft carriers, waves of bombers unleashed a surprise attack on the US Naval fleet in Oahu, Hawaii, killing more than 2,300 Americans. A day later, the nation declared war on Japan.
“Pearl Harbor was a pivotal point in both American and world history,” said Larry Decuers, Curator at The National WWII Museum. “The unprovoked attack brought our previously isolationist nation into World War II and galvanized American citizens against a common enemy. The country would now need to confront tyrannical aggressors in order to secure freedom at home and around the globe.”
The special exhibit recounts the strike in Hawaii, as well as the lesser-known but nearly simultaneous attacks on American territories in the Pacific, including Wake Islands, Guam and the Philippines. Exhibit displays – featuring powerful images and personal stories taken from oral histories of witnesses – convey the losses, disrupted lives and reactions of military service members and ordinary Americans as they realized they were now at war.
The exhibit will be on display to supplement the current exhibition, “Gaman: Enduring Japanese American Internment at Gila River,” which tells the story of the nearby Gila River Internment Camp, where 16,655 Japanese Americans were incarcerated throughout the course of the war.
“We’re thrilled to work with The National WWII Museum to bring this exhibit to our site,” says Museum Administrator Jody Crago. “This is a key part of the story covered in our current exhibit on Japanese internment, so it will be great to have the two exhibits on display side-by-side.”
“Infamy: December 7, 1941” will be on display from Oct. 16 through Nov. 24, at the Museum, located at 300 S. Chandler Village Drive. Hours of operation are Tuesday- Saturday, 10 a.m to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m.; and closed Monday. Admission is free.
For more information, call 480-782-2717, or visit online.
- Chandler Museum is an innovative learning environment where the community comes together to share our stories, store our cultural heritage and experience Chandler as a people and place. The vision of the Museum is to be the community’s principal resource to explore its people’s history, culture, and place in a rapidly changing world of today – within and without the walls of a building. More information is online at chandleraz.gov/museum.
- The National WWII Museum in New Orleans tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world—why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today—so that future generations will know the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front. The 2018 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards ranks the Museum No. 3 in the nation and No. 8 in the world. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944, or visit the museum website.
Public Information Officer