PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — December 7th, 1941, a day President Franklin D. Roosevelt predicted would live in infamy, 81 years later and this famous quote remains true.
That’s thanks to people like Steve Mulholland at the Man in the Sea Museum in Panama City Beach. He’s working to keep history alive.
“There was 21 ships in the harbor at Ford Island in Hawaii and that’s why it was a big target for the Japanese when they attacked,” Man in the Sea Museum Executive Director Steve Mulholland said. “What we concentrate here at the museum is all of the heroic efforts after that.”
More than 2,000 Americans died in the attacks but Mulholland said it could have been more if it weren’t for the brave divers.
“Within hours they were already diving on ships, rescuing people, cutting into hauls to rescue people out of sunken ships,” Mulholland said.
The local community can view some of the artifacts from this rescue mission at the Man in the Sea’s Pearl Harbor exhibit.
This museum is very hands-on. Visitors have the opportunity to step into history quite literally. There is a diving suit, that visitors can wear, from the 1920s and it’s what they wore to recover ships after the attacks.
Eventually, all but three ships involved in the ambush were able to be recovered and returned to service.
“And that really proved to other countries that the U.S. can’t be messed with, that we’re here to come back at you,” Mulholland
The museum costs under $10 dollars to. The non-profit has several exhibits to check out and all proceeds go back into creating future exhibits.