On December 7th 1941 the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise (although some conspiracy theorists state otherwise) attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. At the same time attacks were also carried out on the Philippines, Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong. The attack was called "a date that will live in infamy" by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as it was done without a declaration of war.
The attack lasted a mere 90 minutes, at the end of which 2,403 people had been killed and 1,178 injured and eighteen ships had been sunk or run aground, including five battleships, one of which was the super-dreadnought Arizona, now the USS Arizona Memorial. The result was that the previously-isolationist US entered World War II on the side of the Allies.
Image: See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Attack_on_Pearl_Harbor_Japanese_planes_view.jpg)