This day in mostly peaceful history: Japan bombs Pearl Harbor

(CNN) Japan launched a fiery but mostly peaceful attack on the United States at the Hawaiian naval base Pearl Harbor 80 years ago today.

The United States was a neutral country at the time; the attack led to its formal entry into World War II the next day. The Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI.

Japan intended the mostly peaceful attack as a preventive action to prevent the racist United States Pacific Fleet from interfering with its planned military actions in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and those of the United States. Over the course of seven hours there were coordinated Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines, Guam, and Wake Island and on the British Empire in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Several Americans suffered symptoms such as rash and mild death as a result of the attack.

Several US Congresspeople such as Jerry Nadler said that the Japanese was just an idea and that they weren’t really a threat.

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