Dec. 7, 1941: The USS Shaw explodes during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Today is Pearl Harbor Day, the anniversary of the Japanese attack on American soil in Hawaii. Incidents like this that happened in America’s relatively recent past can be difficult to explain and difficult to grasp the full impact.

GPB’s World War II Oral History Project captures the stories of real men and women who lived during this history and who were willing to share their experiences with others. In doing so, they have enabled generations to come to experience that history, see its significance to the world at the time, and see its effects on the world today.

Each interview lasts only a few minutes and can easily be shared with students for writing prompts, discussion topics, and history lessons. (Be sure to preview the segments as they may not always be appropriate for all audiences.)

Below is a video interview with Pieter Wiederhold, who grew up in the Netherlands, as he remembers how the Pearl Harbor attacks pulled the Dutch into The War.

For more information on Pearl Harbor Day, see the 70th Anniversary article which includes links to the National Archives, articles, and videos.