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After three years in the making, Long Beach Remembers Pearl Harbor, an exhibition documenting the 1941 attack on the United States, will be on view starting Wednesday, December 7 with an opening reception at 6:00PM. 

A major undertaking of the Historical Society of Long Beach (HSLB), the exhibition chronicles the effects of the disastrous day, 75 years ago, when the Japanese Empire unleashed hundreds of fighter planes on the US naval base, drawing the country into World War II and effecting the city, its infrastructure, economy and community. 

“This exhibit has been in the planning stages for several years, and we are very excited to see it finally come together,” said HSLB President Niki Tennant. “Because it is such an important exhibit for the City of Long Beach, we hope visitors to the gallery will come away with a sense of how much the bombing at Pearl Harbor, and the subsequent war impacts, truly affected this city.  From the quick building of housing to accommodate workers at Douglas Aircraft, to the internment of Japanese Americans who lived on the Westside and Terminal Island, the war moved Long Beach in a completely different direction.”

The HSLB’s exhibition chronicles local tidelands and maritime activities related to the early years of World War II and illustrates how ordinary people who lived in Long Beach were affected, and how the events are echoed in the city today. The show opens on December 7 as a respectful commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the day President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed the catastrophic event as “a date which will live in infamy,” according to the HSLB.

The exhibition will be free and open to the public starting December 8, for five days a week up until April 18. Long Beach Remembers Pearl Harbor can be viewed Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:00PM to 5:00PM, Thursdays from 1:00PM to 7:00PM and Saturdays 11:00AM to 5:00PM.

The reception will include an Honor Guard from the U.S. Navy Recruiting District, Los Angeles, performances by the Nightengals and stories of Long Beach heroes by Dr. Craig Hendricks. Rich Archbold will lead the telling of stories about the relatives of those in the audience. Mai Tais, wine and appetizers will be served. General Admission is $75, but for veterans and active duty military in uniform, tickets are $60. Tickets can be purchased here

Historians who worked on the exhibition include Timothy Friden, Dr. Kaye Briegel, Dr. Craig Hendricks, and early work was done by Dr. Julian DelGuadio (deceased). Materials on display include burial flags, biographies of local war heroes, photographs, newspaper accounts, maps, WWII era memorabilia, casualty lists, stories of Japanese American families, correspondences, uniforms, and more. Items and information were collected from veterans, families of those who perished at Pearl Harbor, community members, Long Beach Airport, Boeing Archives, San Pedro Bay Historical Society, Los Angeles Harbor College, and the National Archive.

Long Beach Remembers Pearl Harbor is located at the HSLB at 4260 Atlantic Avenue.

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Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her @hugelandmass on Twitter and Instagram and at [email protected].