Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

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by David P. Rosenberg, Senior Reference Librarian – Collections, Center for Jewish History

Today marks seventy years since the attack on Pearl Harbor, the event that hurled America into the Second World War. 

According to the Encyclopedia Judaica, Jews’ service to the United States armed forces started with militia duty during the Colonial era. “A considerable number of Jews volunteered for the colonialist armies,” and the trend continued with the War of 1812, the Civil War—where Jews fought on both sides—the Great War, and World War II—where “over half a million U.S. Jews fought in the Allied armies, many of whom crossed the Canadian border early in the war to volunteer for the Canadian army before the United States entered the fighting.”

The Center has a wealth of information on the Jewish American experience in the armed services including Fighting for America: an account of Jewish men in the armed forces, from Pearl Harbor to the Italian campaign and Introducing—the Sky Blazers: the adventures of a special band of troops who entertained the Allied forces during World War II, which has a section on entertaining the troops at Pearl Harbor. 

Stay tuned for more information on the Jewish American military experience. 

Click here to read about “Jewish reactions to Pearl Harbor” on the JTA Archive blog.

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