77th anniversary of Pearl Harbor today

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(NBC News Channel) -- Today is the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor attack, 1941, Photo Date: 1941 / Photo: DoD / (MGN)

On December 7Th, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy bombed the U.S. naval base in a preemptive action to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with Japan's planned military actions in Southeast Asia.

Eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged in the strike with four ships sinking.

2,403 americans were killed and another 1,178 were injured.

The attack also known as the battle of Pearl Harbor led to the United States' entry into World War II.