Most shifts in history do not come with easy-to-remember dates associated with them. I could not tell you exactly when the U.S. war with Mexico began, though that war gave flesh and blood and considerable real estate to the U.S. claim that our "Manifest Destiny" was to push on through our western frontier “from sea to shining sea” and eventually become a power in the Pacific, where we would come into conflict with imperial Japan at a place called Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Pearl Harbor was a Pacific outpost where our naval vessels and men were left in harm's way to provide Japan with the target it was looking for, to make an attack President Roosevelt was waiting for. The attack, on the “date that will live in infamy,” would provide the United States with overwhelming justification for entering World War II against the Axis powers.
I also know we are supposed to “Remember the Maine,” the incident of alleged sabotage that sparked the Spanish-American War that left the United States in possession of Puerto Rico and the Philippines and a permanent naval base in Cuba. But I don't remember the exact date of that incident that occurred in 1898.
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