pearl harbor

Cultural Dictionary

Pearl Harbor definition


A major United States naval base in Hawaii that was attacked without warning by the Japanese air force on December 7, 1941, with great loss of American lives and ships. In asking Congress to declare war on Japan the next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt described the day of the attack as “a date which will live in infamy.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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