By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans

By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans

By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans

By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans

Excerpt

On the afternoon of November 2I, 1944, nearly three years after the United States entered World War II and just two weeks after he was elected to a record fourth term, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt held a press conference. FDR looked forward to these biweekly rituals, which were a notable innovation of the Roosevelt White House. The atmosphere was informal and lively. FDR's assistant Stephen T. Early would bring the group of White House correspondents into the Oval Office, where they would crowd around the President's desk. Roosevelt, who fancied himself an old newspaperman from his college journalism days, was on a first-name basis with many reporters, and he would greet his favorites with a joke, genial teasing, or some social chatter. Unless the President had an opening announcement to make, the reporters would then proceed to ask whatever questions they wished: unlike some of his predecessors, FDR did not demand that questions be submitted in advance. Smilingly, confidently, Roosevelt would field the queries, answering . . .

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