Excerpt from LifeZette
Written by Deirdre Reilly
Wednesday marks the 75th anniversary of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. The battleship USS Arizona, all these years later, remains a watery grave on the sea floor for 1,177 officers and crewmen who perished during the attack; their bodies were never recovered.
On Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was working on his stamp collection in his private study in the White House. It was 1:47 p.m. in Washington, D.C.
"The phone rings at this desk — it is the secretary of the Navy on the line," Herman Eberhardt, curator at the FDR Library in Hyde Park, New York, told CBS News. "He tells the president that the Pearl Harbor naval base is under attack."
How did Roosevelt respond? "[His] first reaction was to shout into the phone, 'No!' sort of in a state of disbelief," Eberhardt said.
The attack was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, at 7:48 a.m. local time on that long-ago morning, just a few weeks before Christmas. The attack led to America's entry into World War II in the Pacific and European theaters.