December 1941

December 1941  -  U.S. Attacked

The Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This surprise attack hit the US Navy with devastating results; however, three US carriers were out to sea doing routine drills which allowed the US to pursue the Japanese in the following months. 

The following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to   declare war on Japan.  Declaring war with Japan also meant being at war with Japan’s Allies: Germany, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovakia. 



- National Archives, Washington D.C.

The USS Arizona (BB-39) during the attack on Pearl Harbor. 
Photo: courtesy of the Photo Archives at the National Archives, Washington, D.C.



On December 8, 1941, the Chelmno Concentration Camp was the first camp to use poison gas against the Jews.  Located 30 miles outside of Lodz, Poland, thousands of Jews were sent to their deaths between 1941-1944.