In the summer of 1940, the Pacific Fleet was moved from California to Pearl Harbor as a way to counter Japan’s aggressive actions in Southeast Asia. Still, far away from the rest of the world in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, life in Hawaii seemed untouched. The islands’ breezy tropical climate and warm ocean beckoned visitors. Yet on the horizon, foreboding clouds gathered over Asia and slowly drifted toward the islands. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese struck—and changed the world forever. See photos from the Pearl Harbor attack.
At left, surfers ride the waves on long wooden surfboards at Waikiki Beach with Diamond Head in the distance.