ABILENE -- The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum has created an original exhibit featuring documents and artifacts from its holdings commemorating the Pearl Harbor 70th anniversary today.
This special exhibit will be on display through December in the Library and Museum building lobbies. Some artifacts in the exhibit include Pearl Harbor posters, buttons, sheet music and commemorative stamps, as well as Japanese military items.
December 7, 1941, is "a date which will live in infamy" as described by President Roosevelt in the famous speech he delivered to Congress the following day. On that infamous date, the U.S. Pacific Fleet was based at Pearl Harbor. As the Japanese Ambassador prepared to meet with the Secretary of State in Washington, D.C., the first wave of Japanese aircraft headed towards the island.
Though the American government expected war, it did not believe Hawaii, America's fortress in the Pacific, would be Japan's first target. America was caught by surprise when Japanese bombers and fighters swept overhead soon after daybreak on Dec. 7.
Army Air Force planes were parked wingtip-to-wingtip, and Navy ships were moored side-by-side. In slightly over two hours, 2,400 Americans were killed and the Pacific Fleet sustained vast losses.
The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, a nonpartisan federal institution, is part of the Presidential Libraries network operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. Presidential Libraries promote understanding of the presidency and the American experience. We preserve and provide access to historical materials, support research, and create interactive programs and exhibits that educate and inspire.