On this December 7th morning 70 years ago Pearl Harbor, HI was a peaceful oasis in the middle of the Pacific...until about 7:48 am when the first wave of the Japanese surprise attack arrived overhead. The idyllic setting was transformed into flames, explosions, and death. Before the day was done 2,459 people would die (including 57 civilians), 1,282 people would be wounded, and the Pacific fleet left in tatters.
Fortunately, the aircraft carriers assigned to that fleet were not in the harbor or the next few months might have turned out very differently for the United States. Those ships kept the U.S. Navy in the game until the fleet could be rebuilt or replaced. The age of the battleship effectively ended at Pearl Harbor.
The United States found themselves somewhat reluctantly thrust into a world war and it would take until April, 1945 for the war in Europe to end, and two atomic bombs in August, 1945 to finally convince the Japanese to end their self-destruction.
For nearly 60 years the Pearl Harbor attack marked the deadliest single-day attack on U.S. soil. That record stood until 9/11/01. Let's hope the record set that day is never broken.