Japan launched the surprise attack with airplanes and submarines on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor.
More than 2,400 Americans were killed and over 1,000 were wounded during the bombings. More than 300 aircraft and 19 Navy ships, including eight battleships, were damaged or destroyed.
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The next day, the U.S. declared war against Japan. When asking Congress for a Declaration of War, President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously called the attack "a date which will live in infamy."
On Dec. 11, 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. The U.S., in turn, declared war on the Axis Powers, joining the Allies in World War II.