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Pearl Harbor 75th anniversary commemorated at Naval Heritage Command


USS Arizona (BB-39) ablaze, immediately following the explosion of her forward magazines, Dec. 7, 1941. Frame clipped from a color motion picture taken from on board USS Solace (AH-5). Official U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

WASHINGTON NAVY YARD _ On Dec. 7, 2016, Americans will pause to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor which drew the United States into World War II. For the U.S. Navy it will begin four years of commemorative events and close review of the history.

“World War II history has always been of intense interest to both our service and the country at large — and for very good reason,” said Naval History and Heritage Command Director Sam Cox. “It was a worldwide conflict with existential consequences that continue to unfold, and it affected every American. While the broad strokes of the war are familiar from cinema, books, video games, and popular culture, this anniversary is a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the events in real time.”

As U.S. Navy ships and units around the globe hold commemorative World War II events, the Naval History and Heritage Command will provide historical and commemorative support enabling the fleet to remember the past and inspire the future. This will include: highlighting the toughness, initiative, accountability and integrity of American Sailors and Navy civilians throughout the war and how their actions inspire the same attributes in Navy people today, illustrating how the Navy’s global presence was key to victory then and remains essential to global peace and prosperity today, and showcasing the innovative spirit of World War II Sailors and the American industrial base which lives on today in the strong connection between the Navy and its partners in industry.

Cox believes studying the events in the order and pace at which they actually happened will allow Americans to get away from a rote "date and event" view of history. He says the intent is to dig deeper, re-discovering past lessons and shaping new ones. Equally important are the amazing stories of dedication and sacrifice during the war that will inspire sailors and the rest of America today.

NHHC’s website features a World War II collection page ( that will continue to grow over the next four years where visitors will find links to information and resources that tell the story of the world at war and the role played by America’s Navy.


NHHC is responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. naval history and heritage. It provides the knowledge foundation for the Navy by maintaining historically relevant resources and products that reflect the Navy's unique and enduring contributions through our nation's history, and supports the fleet by assisting with and delivering professional research, analysis, and interpretive services. NHHC is composed of many activities including the Navy Department Library, the Navy Operational Archives, the Navy art and artifact collections, underwater archeology, Navy histories, nine museums, USS Constitution repair facility and the historic ship Nautilus.

For more information on the attack on Pearl Harbor, please visit

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