Today in History: December 7, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor


In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1796, electors chose John Adams to be the second president of the United States.

In 1917, during World War I, the United States declared war on Austria-Hungary.

In 1941, the Empire of Japan launched an air raid on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as well as targets in Malaya, Hong Kong, Guam, the Philippines and Wake Island; the United States declared war against Japan the next day.

In 1963, during the Army-Navy game, videotaped instant replay was used for the first time in a live sports telecast.

In 1972, America’s last moon mission to date was launched as Apollo 17 blasted off from Cape Canaveral.

In 1982, convicted murderer Charlie Brooks Jr. became the first U.S. prisoner to be executed by injection, at a prison in Huntsville, Texas.

In 1988, a major earthquake in the Soviet Union devastated northern Armenia; official estimates put the death toll at 25-thousand.

In 2001, Taliban forces abandoned their last bastion in Afghanistan, fleeing the southern city of Kandahar.

In 2004, Hamid Karzai was sworn in as Afghanistan’s first popularly elected president.

In 2017, Democratic Sen. Al Franken said he would resign after a series of sexual harassment allegations.

In 2018, James Alex Fields Jr., who drove his car into counterprotesters at a 2017 white nationalist rally in Virginia, was convicted of first-degree murder.

In 2020, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles “Chuck” Yeager, the World War II fighter pilot ace and quintessential test pilot who in 1947 became the first person to fly faster than sound, died at 97.

In 2022, Aaron Judge signed a nine-year, $360 million contract – baseball’s biggest free agent deal in history to that point – to remain with the New York Yankees.


Linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky is 95.

Bluegrass singer Bobby Osborne is 92.

Actor Ellen Burstyn is 91.

Broadcast journalist Carole Simpson is 83.

Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench is 76.

Actor-director-producer James Keach is 76.

Country singer Gary Morris is 75.

Singer-songwriter Tom Waits is 74.

Sen. Susan M. Collins, R-Maine, is 71.

Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird is 67.

Actor Priscilla Barnes is 66.

Former “Tonight Show” announcer Edd Hall is 65.

Rock musician Tim Butler (The Psychedelic Furs) is 65.

Actor Patrick Fabian is 59.

Actor Jeffrey Wright is 58.

Actor C. Thomas Howell is 57.

Actor Kimberly Hébert Gregory (TV: “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World”) is 51.

Producer-director Jason Winer is 51.

Former NFL player Terrell Owens is 50.

Rapper-producer Kon Artis is 49.

Pop singer Nicole Appleton (All Saints) is 48.

Latin singer Frankie J is 47.

Country singer Sunny Sweeney is 47.

Actor Chris Chalk is 46.

Actor Shiri Appleby is 45.

Pop-rock singer/celebrity judge Sara Bareilles is 44.

Actor Jennifer Carpenter is 44.

Actor Jack Huston is 41.

MLB first baseman Pete Alonso is 29.