WLW: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

UC political scientist discusses the bombing of Pearl Harbor and how it still resonates today

Richard Harknett, PhD, head of the Department of Political Science, was a guest speaker on WLW to discuss the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and how the event framed the emergence of the United States as a world power.

“Pearl Harbor was a seminal moment in history on many levels,” Harknett said of the Dec. 7, 1942 surprise attack by Japan that took 2400 lives and wounded 1200.

There was tension around the world at the time, Harknett explains, “but we were in our little bubble.”

Coming out of that bubble to first fight the Japanese, who were in league with Hitler, was a defining time in American history, he said, adding that most people think that the U.S. declared war on Germany, when it was really the other way around. “Hitler declares war on us.”

From that moment, which President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared “a date which will live in infamy” the United States shifted from isolationism into a global force to be reckoned with.

Listen to the 12-7-21 episode. Harknett segement starts at 48:30 mark. 

Featured image at top of Richard Harknett. Photo/UC Creative + Brand.  

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