Aircraft of the Japanese navy launch a surprise strike on US military facilities on Oahu, Hawai`i. The attack cripples the navy at Pearl Harbor as the US is thrust into World War II. Killed were more than 2,500 Americans, 21 warships were either destroyed or damaged, 169 aircraft demolished. The attack and others nearly simultaneous across the Pacific, including Guam, and Asia would eventually net Japan an empire of more than 20 million square miles.