Pearl Harbor History

Take a deep dive into the attack on December 7th, 1941, when the Japanese Imperial Navy conducted a surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. Learn more about the U.S. leaders that were involved in making the decisions, a timeline of the events that took place that fateful day, as well as information about the U.S. ships and naval vessels that were found in battle. Join us on a journey to take a closer look at the tragedy that shaped America’s entry into World War II.

Timeline

On December 7th, 1941, a day that has been embedded in our collective memory, we explore the timeline of the Pearl Harbor attack and how it eventually led to the U.S. joining World War II. Get a detailed look at the key figures involved, as well as the sequence of events that unfolded.
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Attack

It all started on the fateful morning of December 7, 1941, which led to the beginning of World War II. Now, more than 82 years later, Pearl Harbor has many stories to tell. Visitors to the historic site can learn more about the attack, the harbor's legacy, and the efforts to protect and preserve it.
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Ships

More than one ship was sitting in the harbor that day. In fact, eight battleships, three cruisers, and four destroyers were there when the bombs started to fall. Some sunk, sustained minor damage, or returned Japanese fire. Discover how these fine ships played a vital role on the "date that would live in infamy."
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Leaders

Any event that looms as large in the timeline of American history as the attack on Pearl Harbor is bound to leave a number of leaders that define it. The more you discover, the more likely it is that you’ll come across certain names—on both sides of the attack. Here are some that you’ll definitely hear about as you dig deeper into the history.
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Frequently Asked Questions

We recommend that all visitors consider this site is for remembrance and reflection of the loss of life in service to the United States, therefore please plan for appropriate dress. Battle dress uniform is not allowed on the memorial, though it is allowed throughout the visitor center and at sites on Ford Island. Military visitors are welcome to wear civilian attire when visiting.

 

Come prepared with comfortable shoes as you will be on your feet throughout your visit, including a hat, sunglasses, and reef-safe sunscreen are recommended.

Remember, no bags larger than 1.5"x2.25"x5.5" are allowed anywhere at Pearl Harbor. This includes backpacks, camera bags, purses, luggage, and fanny packs must all be left at the baggage storage at the entrance to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. For diaper needs, we suggest parents and caregivers include these baby items in a clear sealable bag under the stroller seat for clear visibility and access.

Here is an example of an approved clear stadium style bag

If you have a medical issue that may require the use of a medical bag that might offer concealment, you must disclose this to security.  Bags can only carry the medically required items.  Final say rests with the Park Security Rangers.

 

Pearl Harbor is an accessible site, there are no hills, and the paths are mostly flat. Wheelchairs are not available for rent at the park. There are benches placed around the visitor center and there are wheelchair locks on the US Navy boats to and from the memorial that sport visitors back and forth to the Memorial. 

Motorized mobility devices are welcome at the Visitor Center and on US Navy Vessels, and the USS Arizona Memorial.

There are no wheelchair or motorized scooter rentals available at Pearl Harbor.

Due to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial's no-bag policy, only bring snacks and water bottles that you can carry. There is a small snack shop on site that carries various sundry snacks and cold beverages as well as restaurants throughout the area. There are water fountains located throughout the park to use or refill water bottles.

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