Pearl Harbor Primary Sources from the National Archives



Captured Japanese Photograph Taken during the Attack on Pearl Harbor, 12/7/1941. From the General Records of the Department of the Navy.

From the U.S. National Archives

As the Pearl Harbor anniversary approaches, the U.S. National Archives is sharing historical documents, posters, photographs, and more related to the attack and its impact on U.S. history.

On DocsTeach, the online tool for teaching with documents from the National Archives, you can find primary sources like maps and speeches – even images taken by the Japanese military during the attack that were later captured.

They also have online teaching activities related to Pearl Harbor. In Pearl Harbor Dispatch Analysis, students analyze the “This is Not Drill” naval dispatch sent from the Commander in Chief of the Pacific that announced the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The activity forces students to look for evidence to decode the true meaning of the message.

Or students can explore one of the most famous presidential speeches of all time – FDR’s “Day of Infamy” speech – by comparing it with its first draft in Two Versions of FDR’s Infamy Speech.

DocsTeach also includes audio, like this recording of FDR’s Fireside Chat After the Declaration of War on Japan. You can find more of FDR’s Fireside Chats on DocsTeach as well.

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