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Minnesotans mark 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack

The surprise attack killed 2,403 Americans and wounded 1,178 others.

Seventy-five years ago Wednesday, Japan launched two waves of attack against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, killing 2,403 Americans and wounded 1,178 others.

The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war, saying in a now infamous speech: "December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."

All but one member of Congress voted in favor of declaring war, and at 4 p.m. on Dec. 8, 1941, Roosevelt signed the declaration of war, and the United States had joined World War II.

For everything you need to know about the Dec. 7, 1941, attack in 120 seconds, check out this YouTube video from the Department of Defense.

Events to honor the fallen

Flags across Minnesota and the United States will fly at half-staff Wednesday to remember the Americans who lost their lives in the attacks.

The official National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration will be held at Kilo Pier at Join Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at 11:45 a.m. central time. You can watch a live stream of the event here.

Minnesota will also mark the 75th anniversary of the attacks with events at the Minnesota History Center. At 10 a.m., the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs will host a day to honor those who died – and those who live on to tell their stories of that day, a news release says.

Pearl Harbor survivor Richard Thill, who was a Shipman on the USS Ward, will be an honorary guest at the event. Pearl Harbor Veteran Victor Paradis will also attend, the release notes. You can watch a live stream of this event here or below.

A few other programs are planned for Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day at the Minnesota History Center Wednesday:

  • At 1 p.m., there will be a Tolling of the Boats at the 3M Auditorium to remember the more than 4,000 submariners who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
  • At 3:30 p.m., Marc Wortman, the author of 1941, will discuss the events that led up to Pearl Harbor.
  • And at 7 p.m., Dave Kenney, the author of Minnesota Goes to War, will highlight Minnesotans efforts during Pearl Harbor and World War II.

Minnesota and World War II

After the United States entered World War II, Fort Snelling became an induction point for more than 300,000 men and women who joined the armed forces, the Minnesota Historical Society says.

Roughly 16 million Americans served in World War II – 400,000 were killed, including 7,800 Minnesotans, according to the Minnesota Historical Society and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Fort Snelling was officially decommissioned as an active military post in 1946.

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