Discover The Rich History Of Pearl Harbor

Known as the site of the infamous attack that drew the United States into World War II, Pearl Harbor is a somber testament to the triumphs and tragedies of America’s naval history. In addition to the December 7, 1941 attack by the Japan’s Imperial Navy, there are other fascinating facts that are worth knowing about this historic site.

The early years of Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor, which translates to "Puʻuloa" in Hawaiian, was a shallow embayment that was once a royal fishery, a patchwork of tuber and fish ponds, and a naval base. In 1848, the Hawaiian Kingdom leased the land to the United States. The United States had no kind of permanent base in the Pacific at the time, and Pearl Harbor provided the perfect location for a refueling station. By 1900, the base was virtually complete with barracks, hospital, storehouses, and piers.

The attack on Pearl Harbor

Possibly one of, if not the most, infamous day in America’s history is when Japan’s Imperial Navy launched a surprise attack at the Pearl Harbor naval Base on December 7, 1941. The attack took the lives of 2,403 military personnel and civilians, destroyed or damaged eight battleships, three cruisers, and four destroyers, and damaged or destroyed 188 aircraft. It was this attack which marked the beginning of America’s entry into World War II.

The USS Arizona Memorial

The USS Arizona Memorial is Pearl Harbor’s most iconic attraction. The Memorial honors the 1,177 sailors and Marines who perished on the USS Arizona during the 1941 attack. The memorial was built above the sunken remains of the USS Arizona battleship and is a must-visit when you’re in Pearl Harbor.

The HMS Bounty replica sinking

On October 29, 2012, the HMS Bounty replica sank during Superstorm Sandy. The Bounty was a historic tall ship which had been used in many Hollywood movies. The ship was at Pearl Harbor for restorations and was preparing to sail to its home port in St. Petersburg when it was caught off guard by the superstorm.

The USS Oklahoma Memorial

The USS Oklahoma Memorial pays tribute to the 429 sailors and Marines who lost their lives when the USS Oklahoma capsized after taking multiple torpedoes during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Battleship Missouri Memorial

One of the most recognizable attractions on the harbor is the Battleship Missouri Memorial. The Missouri, affectionately known as "Mighty Mo," was the site of the Japanese surrender that ended World War II. Visitors can explore the deck, gun turrets, and living quarters on their own or with a guided tour.


Pearl Harbor is more than just a place where history was made; it is where the course of world history changed. Visitors to Pearl Harbor can pay their respects and learn more about this historic site by exploring its many memorials, visiting museums and exhibits, and taking guided tours. It is a must-visit destination to fully appreciate the sacrifice and bravery of those who served and lost their lives at Pearl Harbor.

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