Wednesday, December 07, 2011

In Remembrance of the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor attack
Today is the seventieth anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in which over 2,300 American servicemen and civilians were killed. The United States' declaration of war against Japan on the following day marked our country's entry into World War II.

There are few events in American history that have received more scrutiny than the attack on Pearl Harbor. Countless books, articles, essays, documentaries, and films are available that provide a variety of interpretations of the events surrounding that day. Many of these items are available to be checked out through the Birmingham Public Library.

In addition to the materials described above, the Birmingham Public Library’s status as a Federal Depository Library provides patrons with access to several items that can serve to shed a unique light on the attack. Many of these items, which include official government reports and Congressional hearings, are available to view electronically through our catalog and database subscriptions.

For example, 7 December 1941: the Air Force Story (published by the Air Force) is available in the Government Documents Department of the library as a non-circulating reference book, but it is also available to download as a searchable pdf file via our catalog.

A search of the Proquest Congressional database finds a 622 page Congressional hearing from 1946 entitled Report of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack searchable pdf file.

The staff of the Government Documents Department can also help guide patrons through government websites to find additional primary source materials related to the attack on Pearl Harbor. One such website is the American Memory Project at the Library of Congress, captures the reactions of ordinary Americans in its After the Day of Infamy: "Man on the Street" Interviews Following the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

Patrons interested in Birmingham's response to the attack may want to consult the local newspapers being published at the time. Microfilm copies of the Birmingham News, Birmingham Age-Herald, Birmingham Post, and Birmingham World are available for viewing in our Microform room.

If you have any questions, please give the Government Documents Department a call at (205) 226-3620.

Brandon Smith
Central Library
Government Documents/Microforms Department

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