Where to learn more
By John Sucich / More Content Now
If all of the attention surrounding the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor makes you want some more information, here are a few suggestions to further your knowledge:
Pearl Harbor Visitor Center
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center in Aiea, Hawaii, includes four historic sites: the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Park, the Battleship Missouri Memorial and the Pacific Aviation Museum.
The Visitor Center is home to two museums: the Road To War Museum, which details the events leading up to Dec. 7, 1941, and the Attack Museum, which covers the morning of the attack through the end of the war. There is also information in between the museums about the history of Pearl Harbor itself.
The center, which neighbors Honolulu International Airport, is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, but the various sites have different hours and ticketing options. Visit www.pearlharborhistoricsites.org/plan-your-visit for more information.
USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Arizona was one of the battleships sunk in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The memorial (also known as World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument) was built above the sunken ship, which remains in the water. It honors the memory of those who died in the attack.
Visiting the memorial is free, but you need a timed ticket for the roughly 1 hour, 15 minute program, which includes a video and boat ride to and from the memorial.
“Winston Churchill’s Memoirs of the Second World War,” from 1959, offers a unique perspective on the attack at Pearl Harbor and the days that followed. The chapters “Pearl Harbour!” and “A Voyage Amid World War” give the English Prime Minister’s experience when he received news of the attack and then almost immediately traveled to Washington to address the U.S. Congress. The boat trip to America, Churchill’s time with FDR and stay at the White House – including Christmas 1941 – make for an interesting read about what was happening thousands of miles away from Pearl Harbor.
Considered by many to be one of the more objective accounts of the attack, “At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor” features thorough research gathered over more than 30 years by author Gordon W. Prange. The book was one of the first accounts of the Pearl Harbor attack to tell the story from the Japanese point of view as much as the American side. The book also has a sequel, “Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History,” which features more of Prange’s work put together posthumously by Donald Goldstein and Katherine Dillon, with a focus more on the reaction to the attacks as well as how the attack could have happened.
A wider view of the meaning of Pearl Harbor is offered in “A Date Which Will Live: Pearl Harbor In American Memory,” by Emily S. Rosenberg. In the book, Rosenberg examines how Americans remember or think about the national tragedy. The book, which came out in 2003, also includes the author’s thoughts on how Americans will likely remember Sept. 11, 2001, in a way similar to how the attack on Pearl Harbor has been remembered.
“Tora! Tora! Tora!” is considered by many to be the definitive movie about the attack on Pearl Harbor. The 1970 release was not favorably reviewed at the time, but its mostly accurate portrayal of the events surrounding and including the attack have resonated with viewers and helped educate them about Pearl Harbor.
On the 50th anniversary of the attacks, ABC News collaborated with a Japanese television station to produce “Pearl Harbor: Two Hours That Changed The World.” The documentary, narrated by David Brinkley, includes first-hand accounts of the attack from both sides, as well as archived photographs from Japan and the United States.
If you’re looking for a fictional tale tangentially related to the attack, 1953’s “From Here To Eternity” is set in Hawaii in the days leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. The movie, which includes stars Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed and Frank Sinatra, won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture
Museum of World War II Boston
A hidden gem located 20 miles west of Boston in Natick, Massachusetts, the Museum of World War II touts the world’s most comprehensive collection of documents and artifacts related to World War II.
For the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor the museum features an exhibit called “The 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor: Why We Still Remember,” featuring more than 100 artifacts. The exhibit includes the first telegram announcing the attack, the formal declaration of war by Japan on the United States, and pieces of Japanese planes shot down over Pearl Harbor.
The Museum of World War II hosts scheduled visits Tuesdays through Saturdays, with information about how to set up a tour available at http://museumofworldwarii.org/visit.html.
The National WWII Museum New Orleans
Congress designated this – founded as the D-Day Museum in 2000 – the official WWII museum of the United States in 2003.
The museum’s website features an impressive array of digital collections on Pearl Harbor, including oral and video histories and historic photo galleries. Go to ww2online.org and search for Pearl Harbor.
Opening in June 2017, the “Arsenal of Democracy” exhibit will tell the story of the road to World War II and the Home Front, drawing on personal narratives and evocative artifacts to highlight facets of WWII-era American life through an experiential narrative. Visitors will experience history as it unfolds through nine immersive galleries, including America Besieged, featuring a wraparound screen to convey the shock and impact of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and War Affects Every Home, a reconstructed 1940s home interior goes inside the setting where average Americans grew victory gardens, collected for scrap drives and gathered around the radio to learn of the war’s progress.
Find out more about exhibits and tours at http://www.nationalww2museum.org