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A previously unpublished photo shows training with gas masks in Hawaii, early 1942. (Life)

Rare 'Life' Photos, 70 Years After Pearl Harbor

by Claire O'Neill
Dec 7, 2011

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The exposed wreckage of the battleship USS Arizona in 1942; today, most of the ship lies beneath the waves at Pearl Harbor.

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Claire O'Neill

As our news blog says, on this 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks, "there will be a moment of silence in Hawaii at 7:55 a.m. (12:55 p.m. ET) to remember the 2,390 Americans who died when Japan attacked."

To memorialize the day, this excerpt of rare and unseen photos from Life.com shows Hawaii and the mainland after the attacks, "chronicling a nation's answer to an unprecedented act of war."

At the time, Bob Landry was one of the few news photographers near Pearl Harbor — and his photos were some of the first to show the aftermath in magazines like Life and Time. But of course, not every photograph from a shoot makes it into the magazine, and plenty of worthy images end up on the cutting room floor.

That, and many of the images were censored by the government. Some of Landry's photos were not published until months after they were taken.

Another name in this gallery, George Strock, is an important one. Though these photos, for whatever reason, went unpublished, Strock had other very famous photos. In fact, this 1943 photo was one of the first of dead Americans to be published during World War II after President Roosevelt lifted censorship.

But these photos were all taken right around the Pearl Harbor attack when there was still plenty of optimism in the air. The last photo here says it loud and clear. The tragedy at Pearl Harbor incited a spirit that would power the next few years.

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