Pearl Harbor: A Crucial Date Which Will Live in Infamy

Tuesday

1:10 PM – 2:50 PM

9/12, 9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31

On December 7, 1941, a sudden attack by the Empire of Japan catapulted the United States into a war most American did not want. We study the Japanese reasons for beginning the war, America’s unpreparedness and the many blunders made by both sides. We analyze how secret codes and intelligence gathering played important roles and, finally, the controversy surrounding whether President Roosevelt did or did not have knowledge of the attack prior to December 7, 1941 – a conspiracy theory that exists to this day.  Knowing the facts will, hopefully, dispel the myths and clear the air.

Richard Di Vecchio has given classes on Spies and Espionage, America’s Secret Intelligence Services, The Roaring Twenties and a series of five courses on American Presidents.  He is currently a board member at Lifetime Learners and Chair of the Curriculum Committee.

8 sessions starting Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 1:10 PM

 

Syllabus: Pearl Harbor
Richard Di Vecchio

Week One: Overview of the Japanese surprise attack and the American response at Pearl Harbor; President Roosevelt asks for a Declaration of war; Congress acts and reacts. The European war’s influence on the United States, Japan and Great Britain.

Week Two: A study of Japanese imperialism. The Japanese-Sino war; the Japanese -Russian wars; the Sino-Japanese wars.

Week Three: President Theodore Roosevelt’s intervention and Nobel Peace Prize; Japanese plans to attack America; Japanese views of the attack and the real reasons.

Week Four: “Magic”, the cryptanalysis process that broke the Japanese codes; the code breakers and their achievements and failures.

Week Five: How prepared are Pearl Harbor’s defenses? What types of equipment including ships, airplanes and military apparatus were available.

Week Six: The Pearl Harbor attack! The losses; the gains.

Week Seven: Placing the blame. The heroes; the villains. And another mystery: The Sinking of the SS Cynthia Olson; the Japanese submarine that sank her.

Week Eight: Judgment of the experts, the myths, conspiracy and the truth.

Facilitator: Richard Di Vecchio

Richard Di Vecchio has given classes on Spies and Espionage, America’s Secret Intelligence Services, The Roaring Twenties and a series of five courses on American Presidents. He is currently a board member at Lifetime Learners and Chair of the Curriculum Committee.