On December 7, 1941, a Japanese air armada attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, leading the United States to officially enter World War II the next day. The war ended in August 1945 after the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Historians discuss the Pearl Harbor attack and its aftermath in A Biography of America, program 22, “World War II.” This program also asks you to consider whether or not the wartime internment of over 100,000 Japanese Americans was appropriate.
Writer Lawson Fusao Inada, featured in The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School, session 8, writes about his experiences in the wartime internment. Read an interview with Inada, and listen to the author read poetry from Drawing the Line that explores themes of dislocation and American identity.