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World War II: U.S. Entry in the War
On December 7, 1941, 353 Japanese planes attacked the United States naval base
at Pearl Harbor, resulting in 2,402 American deaths. Four days later, on December
11, 1942, Germany declared war on the United States and the U.S. declared war on
Germany and Italy. The attack on Pearl Harbor led directly to the United States
decision to enter World War II, in both the European and Pacific theaters. Up until
that point, the United States had maintained a high level of domestic support for
staying out of the war. When the U.S. did finally enter, the Allies were in great
need of back-up. The United States military was a key player in the Allied victory
in 1945. On the home front, the United States experienced economic and social
changes—including women joining the workforce, the internment of Japanese
Americans and African Americans enlisting—as a result of its participation in the
war. The United States entering World War II served as a turning point in many
ways, which can be researched in the collections of the Historical Society of
Recommended Collections:
Historical Society of Pennsylvania collection of World War II papers
Historical Society of Pennsylvania World War II propaganda collection
Historical Society of Pennsylvania war poster collection
Sumiko Kobayashi papers
Collection#MSS073/PG230 and MSS073A
*HSP has dozens more World War II-related collections that are open for research.
Other Sources of Information:
African American Museum of Philadelphia – 701 Arch St., Philadelphia –
Fold3 – World War II collection –
National Women’s History Museum – Partners in Winning the War: American
Women in World War II online exhibit –