Statement of Significance (as of designation - January 29, 1964):
The splendid anchorage at Pearl Harbor was one of the principal reasons for early American interest in Hawaii, and undoubtedly the strategic importance of this bay was a factor leading to annexation of Hawaii. The development of a naval base and headquarters here after 1898 were important factors in the rise of U.S. naval power in the Pacific. The dispute of this power by Japan eventually contributed to the precipitation of war between the United States and Japan, the significant opening shots of which occurred at Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941. Pearl Harbor's mission is support of the fleet, and for most of the last century it has sheltered, armed, and repaired naval ships, submarines, and aircraft. Ford Island, most well-known as the location of Battleship Row, suffered devastating damage during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. Evidence of the attack can still be seen.