Events Oral Histories Resources

In Recognition of the 74th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

Today, December 7, marks the 74th Anniversary of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. As a nation, we pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the attack. As the first attack on American territory since 1812, the United States was taken by surprise and overnight, on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s orders, entered into World War II.

Through the Time of Remembrance project, we acknowledge the importance of Pearl Harbor Day – but also recognize the grave injustice of what followed: the forced removal of Japanese-American citizens from the West Coast.

To step into the past through a first-hand account of the impact of December 7, 1941, we recommend listening to Bob Uyeyama’s interview. Bob was born in Sheldon, California, in 1935. He attended Enterprise Elementary School for 1st grade. When World War II broke out, he was sent to Jerome and Rohwer internment camps. He recounts how his life overnight and forever changed.

In Marion Kanemoto’s interview, she recalls the F.B.I. coming into her home and taking her father away. The following morning she suffered through her first grade teacher sharing the front page of The Seattle Sunday Times (See image below) with her entire class.



Photo: Sunday, February 22, 1942 Seattle Times Photo of Marion Kanemoto’s father during F.B. I. roundup.  


We recently added a new feature to the TOR website: an interactive timeline providing a brief window into key events of the internment years.


We’ve also added another exciting resource to the TOR Website. In honor of Pearl Harbor Day, we are posting our newly created lesson I’m American Too… I’m American Now – A Poem in Two Voices.  As students delve into the lesson, they will have the opportunity to examine, question, and interpret history and to gain an understanding of the legacies of war through our growing collection of first-hand accounts of resistance, survival, and resilience from World War II and the Vietnam War. Both wars profoundly and forever changed the history of our nation and of our own communities, including Elk Grove.

In this lesson, students will explore (or be assigned) interviews from the Time of Remembrance Interview Archives, and then collaborate on creating a poem in two voices to compare and contrast human experiences from both wars. The lesson is aligned to 8th grade English language arts standards, but can easily be adapted for younger or older students. 


Link to Lesson (Google Docs)

Please consider this lesson an invitation and opportunity for your students to take their voices and creations out to a worldwide audience. You can send links to their poems and/or VoiceThreads through a comment to this post. We look forward to showcasing your student-created content on our website. 

Gail and Kathleen

tor talks

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