Japanese Internment & the Use of Propaganda
Japanese Internment • On December 7th, 1941 Japan executed a surprise attack on an American naval base at Pearl Harbor, HI. • The attack caught America by surprise and ended with the death of over 2,000 Americans most of them sailors in the Navy. • The attack almost crippled the entire western navy fleet. • The following day President Roosevelt declared war on Japan.
Japanese Internment • In the following months there were occasional attacks by the Japanese on the west coast of the U.S. • Oil refineries were blown up, and on at least one occasion a shell was fired into a California city street. • Many Americans especially on the west coast became fearful that a full scale Japanese attack would be coming.
Japanese Internment • Many Americans started to produce propaganda that made the Japanese look worse than they really were. • In turn this made many Americans start to dislike Japanese and Japanese- Americans • There are also false reports of Japanese attacks that add to the hysteria. • With the growing dislike of the Japanese, many Americans were calling for the government to do something that would protect the country.
Japanese Internment • Finally in Feb. 1942 FDR signs Executive Order 9066 that detains all Japanese- Americans in the western United States. • Japanese- Americans are rounded up throughout the west and forced to several different camps around the country. • Many lose their jobs, homes and sometimes their families, which not all Americans agreed with. • In many cases they would never reclaim these things again. • The biggest of these camps was Manzanar in CA. • The U.S. Government produced videos to justify relocating Japanese- American citizens.
Japanese Internment • These camps weren’t as bad as concentration camps but the people were held against their will. • The government would release pictures of Japanese- Americans in the camps to show how “good” life was, which kept most Americans happy. • The detention of Japanese- Americans made its way to the Supreme Court where they ruled that people could be held based only on their nation ancestry even if they were citizens. • Most Americans at the time accepted this, but would be later deemed unconstitutional. • The U.S. govt. apologized officially in 1992.