The Date That Will Live in Infamy: Pearl Harbor Quiz



By: Staff

5 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii and was acquired by the United States in 1875. It received its name from the pearl oysters that were once harvested from the waters.

It consists of five historic sites that honor the past events, namely the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Oklahoma Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, Battleship Missouri Memorial and the Pacific Aviation Museum. Visitors will hear survival stories, tread through airplane hangars and visit the final resting place of the USS Arizona which remains a place of quiet reflection and solemn beauty sunk in this shallow harbor.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, there was a surprise military attack on the United States by Japan at the harbor. During this attack, 188 United States aircraft were damaged with over 2,300 Americans being killed and a further 1,178 were wounded. The following day, the United States raised fury and declared war on Japan, leading to America’s entry into World War II.  

This has been recorded as one of the deadliest attacks in United States’ history and will forever be remembered as the day that changed the course of history. To this very day, Pearl Harbor remains an active United States naval base with heightened security. But can you tell us more about that fateful day? Can you tell us about one of the most tragic events in US history?

What day was Pearl Harbor attacked by the Japanese?

The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.


More than 1,000 U.S. sailors were killed when this ship was sunk.

An 1,800-pound (816-kilogram) bomb smashed through the deck of the USS Arizona and landed in the forward ammunition magazine. The ship exploded and sank with more than 1,000 men trapped inside.


True or false: In 1942, shortly after America joined World War II, President Roosevelt issued an executive order authorizing all Japanese-American citizens be placed in "relocation centers."

More than 120,000 Japanese — 80,000 of which were U.S. citizens — were placed in interment camps in Idaho, Utah, California, Arizona, Wyoming, Arkansas and Colorado.


True or false: Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s radio broadcast announcing that the Japanese government had accepted the unconditional surrender of the Japanese military at the end of World War II was likely the first time an emperor of Japan had spoken to the common people.

This is true. And he spoke in an imperial dialect that few ordinary Japanese people could understand.


Who said this? "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."

The quote is generally attributed to Yamamoto, who is said to have been against the attack on Pearl Harbor.


On what U.S. battleship did representatives of the Allied and Axis powers sign two copies of the Instrument of Surrender?

The Instrument of Surrender was signed in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945, on the USS Missouri.


What day and time was the attack on Pearl Harbor?

The attack took place around 7:45 a.m. Sunday morning, which is likely why there weren't thousands of more U.S. casualties.


Where did the Japanese attack planes take off?

The Japanese planes took off from six aircraft carriers in the Pacific.


True or false: Congress passed a formal declaration of war against Japan on Dec. 8, 1941.

Within just one hour of FDR's famous Infamy Speech, Congress declared war on Japan, taking the United States into World War II.


True or false: Construction didn't begin on the Pearl Harbor memorial until 1960.

For years following the end of World War II, the wreck sat largely ignored until a desire grew to establish some type of Pearl Harbor memorial to honor those who died. The USS Arizona Memorial opened in 1961.


What detected the Japanese attack force 70 miles (113 kilometers) out from Pearl Harbor, but soldiers thought it was friendly aircraft?

A new U.S. Army SCR-270 mobile radar array mounted high up Opana Point on Oahu detected the Japanese attack force from 70 miles out.


Who was the commander of the Japanese Combined Fleet when Pearl Harbor was attacked?

Marshal Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto conceived and carried out the surprise attack on U.S. naval forces at Pearl Harbor.


What did the Japanese NOT attack that allowed the U.S. Navy to quickly recover?

The Japanese never attacked the U.S. naval oil storage facilities, repair shops, shipyards and submarine docks, allowing the Navy to recover and rebound quickly and get in the fight.


Who was the commander of the Pacific Fleet when Pearl Harbor was attacked?

Kimmel was relieved of his duty after the disaster.


True or false: The U.S. didn't think Pearl Harbor was vulnerable to an attack from Japan despite the fact that the Hawaiian island chain proved defenseless from a carrier strike during war games.

U.S. naval intelligence expected an attack in the Philippines if hostilities broke out between the U.S. and Japan.


What famous Morse code message did air attack commander Mitsuo Fuchida transmit to his other Japanese A6M2 Zero fighters?

Fuchida transmitted "to-ra, to-ra, to-ra!" signaling that the Americans weren't able to mount a defense.


True or false: The Japanese called the operation to attack Pearl Harbor "Operation H."

They actually called it Operation Z.


Who was the only member of Congress to vote against going to war?

Rep. Jeannette Rankin was the only dissenting vote. She said because she couldn't go to war as a woman, she wouldn’t send anyone to war either.


What did the ultimatum in the Potsdam Declaration say Japan would face if it did not surrender?

The declaration stated, "The full application of our military power, backed by our resolve, will mean the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland."


What Japanese naval commander was in charge of the 1st Air Fleet that attacked Pearl Harbor?

Nagumo oversaw the attack on Pearl Harbor, but he was later criticized for failing to launch a third attack, which might have destroyed the fuel oil storage and repair facilities.


Who said this? "Yesterday, Dec. 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."

Roosevelt delivered the Infamy Speech to a joint session of Congress the day after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.


What commission was appointed to investigate the attack on Pearl Harbor?

President Roosevelt appointed the Roberts Commission to investigate and report the facts related to the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor.


How many Japanese planes are estimated to have attacked Pearl Harbor?

It's estimated that about 360 Japanese planes were part of the attack on Pearl Harbor.


True or false: The attack on Pearl Harbor lasted just 30 minutes.

The surprise attack lasted two hours, and only Navy aircraft carriers weren't destroyed.


How many U.S. battleships were moored at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked?

Although the U.S. had nine operational battleships just before WWII, only eight of them were moored at Pearl Harbor's Battleship Row when it was attacked.


Which ship did NOT sink during the attack on Pearl Harbor?

The USS Maryland was attacked but never sunk.


The USS Arizona is one of two ships the Japanese sunk during Pearl Harbor that was NOT able to be raised later. What is the other?

The USS West Virginia was sunk but later raised, and the USS Nevada was heavily damaged. But the USS Utah, which capsized, was never raised and now sits on the bottom of Pearl Harbor.


True or false: The name of the conference defining Japan's surrender in World War II was the Potsdam Conference.

Participants included the United States, U.K. and Soviet Union. The countries issued the Potsdam Declaration, which outlined the terms of surrender for Japan.


True or false: The attack damaged or destroyed about 10 U.S. ships.

The attack damaged or destroyed about 20 U.S. ships and 300 aircraft.


When did the USS Arizona Memorial become part of the National Park Service?

The USS Arizona Memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day 1962 and became a National Park Service area in 1980.


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