Japanese Americans and World War II: Exclusion, Internment, and Redress

Japanese Americans and World War II: Exclusion, Internment, and Redress

Japanese Americans and World War II: Exclusion, Internment, and Redress

Japanese Americans and World War II: Exclusion, Internment, and Redress

Excerpt

On February 19, 1942, two months after the United States declared war on Imperial Japan, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. By the summer of 1942, virtually the entire population of Japanese Americans (Nikkei) on the U.S. mainland-110,000 men, women, and children-had vanished from their homes, schools, and places of employment in cities and rural communities throughout the Pacific Coast states. Among the Nikkei who disappeared under U.S. Army guard were 40,000 lssei (“first generation” Japanese in America) and 70,000 Nisei (“second generation”), the American-born sons and daughters of the Issei. Aside from a few of their neighbors and business acquaintances, most fellow Americans either did not know or chose not to ask why and where the Nikkei had gone. By 1945 a vast archipelago of federal concentration camps had been specially constructed and staffed to imprison 120,000 people whose only “crime” was their Japanese ancestry. Eventually, this inmate population included 6,000 babies born to a birthright of barbed wire and 3,000 Latin American Japanese deportees

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