Contact: Megan Harris (202) 707-8205
Contact: Jeffrey Lofton (202) 707-6432

December 6, 2011

Veterans History Project Marks 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

Veterans Who Were There Reflect on the Historic Day

The Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP) has launched "Pearl Harbor – 70th Anniversary," which is the 35th website feature in the Experiencing War series. Pearl Harbor presents the accounts from 15 veterans who experienced Pearl Harbor firsthand. These stories are among the 11,000 digitized collections of the Veterans History Project. More than 78,000 can be found at

"Some tragedies from our history are permanently burned into the collective memory of our nation. Pearl Harbor is certainly one," said Veterans History Project Director Bob Patrick. "The Veterans History Project offers these personal histories to help us learn, remember and ensure that current and future generations never forget veterans’ service and sacrifice."

All of the veterans spotlighted in the feature describe the sense of horror that dominated on Dec. 7, 1941. Kathryn Mary Doody was a nurse serving in the Army Nurse Corps, whose long and distinguished career in combat medicine began when she treated bombing victims brought to her Honolulu hospital from Pearl Harbor. James Doyle was a Photographer’s Mate First Class in the Navy; he used his camera to document the destruction of the harbor while dodging bullets from Japanese planes flying overhead. Robert Coates served aboard the USS Nevada. After Pearl Harbor, he went on to be involved in some of the heaviest action in the Pacific Theater. As he discusses in his interview, nothing ever rivaled the shock he felt on December 7.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds nearly 147 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 as a national documentation program of the American Folklife Center ( to collect, preserve and make accessible the first-hand remembrances of American wartime veterans from World War I through the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. The project relies on volunteers to record veterans’ remembrances using guidelines accessible at Volunteers may request more information at or the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848. Subscribe to VHP’s RSS feed on the VHP home page.

# # #

PR 11-232
ISSN 0731-3527

Back to top