79 years ago today, the sun rose over the Pacific Ocean off the beautiful Hawaiian island of Oahu…
By all accounts, it was a quiet and gorgeous Sunday morning seemingly far removed from the strife happening around the globe… The United States was in peace negotiations with the empire of Japan and doing everything in our power to avoid entering World War II. At 7:48am, the naval base at Pearl Harbor was attacked by 353 imperial Japanese aircraft that launched from 6 aircraft carriers in 2 separate waves. The final casualties…
4 battleships sunk
4 battleships damaged
1 ex-battleship sunk
1 harbor tug sunk
3 cruisers damaged
3 destroyers damaged
3 other ships damaged
188 aircrafts destroyed
159 aircrafts damaged
Weeks before the attack, the Japanese Prime Minister requested to meet with Roosevelt, but Roosevelt refused to meet until a deal could be struck between the two growing superpowers.
The US ambassador to Japan felt the only way to preserve peace in the Pacific was by getting the two leaders to meet, so he repeatedly begged Roosevelt to take the meeting but to no avail…
On November 20th, 1941, Japan made their final proposal which included withdrawing from southern Indochina and refraining from future attacks on Southeast Asia… In return, Japan wanted all sanctions lifted, a million gallons of aviation fuel and a promise not to aid China.
The US counter proposal, known as The Hull Note, arrived Nov 27th, the day after the Japanese fleet had left for Pearl Harbor…
December 7th, the surprise attack happened before a declaration of war was ever made.
The next day, both countries officially declared war on one another and a few days later after Germany and Italy declared war on the United States, we returned the favor.
After almost 4 years fighting alongside allied forces, on August 6th, 1945, the US finally retaliated for the Pearl Harbor attack by dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
3 days later, on August 9th, the US dropped another atomic bomb on Nagasaki…
5 days later, on August 14th, 1945, Japan unconditionally surrendered, ending WWII.
One reason why I love history so much is because by studying the successes and failures of the past, we can learn from these historical happenings… If we don’t recognize history and we don’t embrace the uncomfortable conversations, we are inevitably bound to repeat history.
There is no telling what would have happened had Roosevelt and the Japanese Prime minister met; possibly, it all would have played out exactly as it happened… Yet if there is an underlying lesson to learn from any of this, it is that communication is the greatest pathway to building relations with a person or a country and even if there is no resolve, it’s always worth a shot…
P.S. Have you hopped on a Team GoHard Foot Reflexology Board yet?