Japanese Internment 1942-1945
Many Americans were suspicious of the Japanese-Americans living within the U.S. after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Why? Were these fears justified?
Many people were afraid that Japanese Americans who lived on the West Coast might actually be spies for Imperial Japan. Many Japanese were fishermen or worked on the docks. HOWEVER…There was NEVER any evidence that Japanese Americans acted as spies during WWII.
Relocation On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. This forced Japanese Americans to move from their homes to “internment” camps. This was to keep them from spying bymonitoring their lives. “Yellow Peril” became rampant throughout the U.S.
11,000 Japanese families had to sell their homes and businesses to relocate to these camps. Evacuees were allowed to take only what they could carry. What they couldn’t sell was just left for the taking.
Japanese Americans were put on buses and shipped to one of 10 relocation centers around the United States.
The barracks were surrounded by barbed wire and overseen by high wooden watchtowers. Privacy was almost nonexistent. Evacuees tried to make the best of it by living their lives with some degree of normalcy. Schools, libraries, sports teams, churches, and Americanization classes were created.
Originally, FDR considered the relocation “legal” under constitutional powers granted to the president during times of war. The Supreme Court supported this claim in the case of Korematsu vs. U.S. Later, this was overturned and all camps were closed by early 1945.
An Apology In 1988, the U.S. government apologized to Japanese Americans for these internment camps and paid all internees$20,000.
U.S. Government Explanation Official U.S. Film (1942) http://youtu.be/5_rk3RP5KQs