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Japanese American Internment Camps. 10 Camps in operation from 1942-1646. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Americans became extremely suspicious of people with Japanese ancestry and thought that they would exploit the American government

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japanese american internment camps

Japanese American Internment Camps

10 Camps in operation from


After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Americans became extremely suspicious of people with Japanese ancestry and thought that they would exploit the American government

Americans were paranoid and suffered from wartime anxiety

most Japanese at the time lived in California in towns called “Little Tokyo”- the constituted only 2% of the population and were mainly fisherman, small shopkeepers, and held agricultural positions (they lived at poverty level)

FEB. 19, 1942: Executive Order 9066- allowed “enemy aliens” to be placed in “relocation camps”- though this term applied to Japanese, Italians and Germans, only Japanese were interned (FDR called this camps “concentration camps” on several times)

MARCH 18, 1942: FDR signs Executive Order 9102- established the War Relocation Authority (WRA) under Milton Eisenhower who later resigned (Dillon Myer took his place)

The WRA was given $5.5 million dollars in funding for the camps

Between AUGUST- SEPTEMBER 1942 the first inmates arrive at several different camps

camp quotes
Camp Quotes
  • “Most of the 110,000 persons removed for reasons of ‘national security’ were school age children, infants and young adults not yet of voting age”
  • “In the detention centers, families lived in substandard housing, had inadequate nutrition and health care, and had their livelihoods destroyed; many continued to suffer psychologically long after their release”
  • “At Gila [AZ] there were 7,700 people crowded into space designed for 5,000. They were housed in mess halls, recreation halls, and even latrines. As many as 25 person lived in a space intended for 4.”
  • “ In desert camps, the evacuees met severe extremes of temperature. In winter in reached 35 degrees below zero, and summer brought temperatures as high as 115 degrees. Rattlesnakes and desert wildlife added danger to discomfort.”
  • When we first arrived at Minidonka, everyone was forced to use outhouses since the sewer system had not been built. For about 1 year, the residents had to brace the cold and stench of these accomodations”
japanese men in wwii
Later on into the war, Americans realized that Japanese-Americans could be used as secret weapons

Japanese speaking individuals translated captured Japanese documents and monitored radio traffic

Attended Military Intelligence Specialist School and eagerly enlisted in the military

By Dec. 1944, 1500 Japanese men had enlisted in the 442nd regimental Combat Team

Japanese Men in WWII
the end of the camps
JUNE 30, 1944: Jerome, AR is the first camp to close

the rest close over a period of 2 years (Tule Lake, CA being the last in 1946)

AUG 6, 1945: atomic bombs are dropped and war ends

JULY 2, 1948: Pres. Truman signs Japanese American Evacuation Claims Act to compensate for economic losses- largely ineffective

AUG 10, 1988- Civil Liberties Act of 1988 signed by Reagan

The End of the Camps
long term health consequences
Psychological anguish

inmates had a 2.1 greater risk of cardiovascular disease

alteration of attitudes

low self- esteem

sad and angry over the injustices

pressure to assimilate

Loss of Japanese culture and language

most Sansei still felt that the internment of their parents directly affected their lives and led to several negative feelings toward Americans

Long Term Health Consequences