This Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, marks the 71st anniversary of the “date which will live in infamy” — the day in 1941 when the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, bringing America into World War II and effectively changing the course of that conflict.
That date, as President Franklin Roosevelt predicted, has indeed lived in infamy as a symbol of treachery, but it has also lived on as a symbol of resolve. In commemoration of the event, and in honor of those who lost their lives, several TV programs about the Pearl Harbor attack will be airing on the memorial date this year. Here are some notable ones. All times are Eastern.
TCM Remembers Pearl Harbor — Dec. 7 starting at 6am on TCM. TCM remembers the attack on Pearl Harbor with a daytime lineup of some of the greatest films depicting the conflict within the Pacific theater of World War II. The seven-film collection includes From Here to Eternity (1953), Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), Air Force (1943), They Were Expendable (1945) and Task Force (1949).
WWII in HD Marathon — Dec. 7 from 7am-5pm on History. The 10-episode series that enhances color footage from World War II into high definition.
Pearl Harbor: 24 Hours After (encore) — Dec. 7 at 5pm on History. This two-hour special looks at the critical 24-hour period after news of Japan’s attack on U.S. soil in 1941 reached President Roosevelt. The special gives a rare and surprising glimpse at the man behind the presidency and how he confronted the enormous challenge of transitioning the nation from peace to war.
Myths of Pearl Harbor, Part 1 (encore) — Dec. 7 at 8pm & 11pm on Military Channel. Little-known information about the attack on Pearl Harbor, including the fascinating fact that an American Navy vessel actually fired the first shot that fateful morning. Part 2 airs immediately afterward, at 9pm, with a repeat at 12am on Dec. 8.
WW2 From Space — Dec. 7 at 9pm on History. This new two-hour special delivers the tipping points of World War II as never presented before. The key editorial feature of the special is an all-seeing CGI eye — a satellite, flying above earth, bringing a new visual approach to the biggest conflict of all time. Flying through space and time from above, the program shows these monumental moments in their global context, bringing new information to the forefront, revealing the hidden ripple effects of crucial incidents and re-creating groundbreaking moments that could never have been captured on camera.
Pearl Harbor Declassified — Dec. 7 at 10pm; Dec. 8 at 1am on Military Channel. This world-premiere documentary uses personal stories and new, state-of-the-art image stabilizing techniques to look at the pivotal first 15 minutes of the bombing on Pearl Harbor and the devastating aftermath. The one-hour special showcases the clearest and sharpest images ever seen of the first wave of the attack, combining rare aerial film taken by Japanese attackers with home movie footage captured from the harbor by a Navy doctor, who was on the hospital ship USS Solace, anchored just a quarter of a mile from the USS Arizona. This extraordinary footage captures the instant the Arizona blew apart — an explosion that instantly took the lives of 1,177 Americans. Also in this documentary, a guided underwater tour by the National Park Service reveals the secrets of the Arizona as it lays to rest in the harbor.
Save Our History: USS Arizona (encore) — Dec. 7 at 11pm on Military History Channel. Inside the sunken hull of the USS Arizona, over a million gallons of oil threaten to spill into the harbor and create an environmental disaster. This special traces the history of the ship from its construction in 1914 to its sinking in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and reviews the ensuing rescue, salvage and battle damage investigation. Today, underwater exploration continues, and radical plans to save the deteriorating tomb are being developed.
USS Arizona memorial: Thomas Casper/Military Channel