World War II

Seventy-five years ago, Japan attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. The strike killed more than 2,300 people and propelled the United States into World War II.

Seventy-five years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, some Americans have never stopped believing that President Franklin Roosevelt let it happen in order to draw the U.S. into World War II.

"It's ridiculous," says Rob Citino, a senior researcher at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. "But it's evergreen. It never stops. My students, over 30 years — there'd always be someone in class [who'd say], 'Roosevelt knew all about it.'"

Updated at 11 a.m. ET on Dec. 8

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Pearl Harbor later this month, becoming the first Japanese head of state to visit the memorial at the site of the surprise attack.

President Obama will accompany Abe on the visit, which is scheduled for Dec. 27. The 75th anniversary of the attack is this Wednesday.

Commemorations are getting underway in Honolulu to mark next week’s 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Now, a new unnarrated documentary that premieres Sunday on the Smithsonian Channel aims to tell the story of the strike on Dec. 7, 1941, through film recordings and radio news reports — some that have rarely been seen or heard in decades.

Filmmaker Mel Gibson has two obsessions: grisly violence and martyrdom. Hacksaw Ridge, his new World War II film, splits its 140 minutes between the two of them almost 50-50 (or 70-70). It's good, in a sturdy, muted, unsurprising way.

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