“A Date Which Will Live In Infamy” Turn to page 178 and finish your journal. Directions: You are an American teenager learning of Roosevelt’s declaration of war: Write an entry in your diary dated December 8, 1941 with your reaction on the space provided in your notebook.
Let’s think about this…. How do you think things will change in the United States as a result of the bombing of Pearl Harbor? Do you think there will be distrust and perhaps segregation of certain citizens?
Japanese Internment On December 7, 1941, an angry white neighbor came to the home of a Japanese American family. “You …started the war!” the neighbor yelled. “You bombed Pearl Harbor!” Ofcourse, Japanese Americans had nothing to do with starting the war. But, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a cloud of suspicion settled on these loyal citizens.
Japanese Internment Throughout U.S. history, decision makers have been challenged by questions about what constitutes fair and just actions during times of war. For example, the government has had to consider the extent of citizens’ rights in a democracy during wartime. To safeguard American security, can the government of the United States carry out actions that violate the rights of American citizens? Or may the Constitution never be violated even under wartime circumstances?
Japanese Internment As you watch the video, answer the questions on page 182 in your notebook. Japanese Internment Video
“Forgetting the Constitution” As a group, read the article “Forgetting the Constitution”. As you read, take notes on page 183. Decide as a group, what the top 10 most important ideas from the article are.
“Forgetting the Constitution” 1. There is an anti-Japanese hysteria in America during WWII. Many authorities expected the Japanese to attack the West Coast.
Japanese Internment Constitutional questions were certain to arise during World War II. In the first few years of the war, the FBI arrested and jailed thousands of Italians, Germans and Japanese suspected of being a threat of having connections to pro-fascist organizations. People’s belongings were confiscated, curfews were established and thousands were taken into custody. Fair treatment by the law No imprisonment without trial
Japanese Internment After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the government feared attacks on U.S. soil. These fears raised the issue of the possible presence of enemy collaborators living within the United Sates. The government had to determine whether their presence threatened national security and if so what was to be done about it?
“Forgetting the Constitution” 2. In response to these fears, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942.
EXECUTIVE ORDER 9066: JAPANESE INTERNMENT
Executive Order 9066 It stated that all Japanese regardless of citizenship, age, gender, place of birth or pronouncement of loyalty were to be taken into custody and interned.
“Forgetting the Constitution” 3. About 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast were forced to leave their homes and businesses.
“Forgetting the Constitution” 4. Japanese Americans had to move to distant internment camps.
“Forgetting the Constitution” • Most Japanese Americans were torn or confused about being moved. • 6. They were United States citizens but they were also proud of their Japanese heritage.
Japanese Internment Most of the hastily constructed camps were located in bleak deserts. Families were crowded together in flimsy housing with no running water.
Japanese Internment Barbed wire and armed guards surrounded each camp. One resident recalled, “We struggled with the heat, the sandstorms , the scorpions, the rattlesnakes, the confusion, the overcrowded barracks, and the lack of privacy.”
“Forgetting the Constitution” 7. They established schools, churches, recreational centers, newspapers and their own camp governments.
“Forgetting the Constitution” 8. Despite the injustices suffered by their families, over 16,000 young Japanese American men in the camps volunteered for military service.
“Forgetting the Constitution” • Eventually, the internment camps were closed and people went out and did their best to build new lives. • Many Japanese Americans still faced racism when they tried to find jobs and new homes.
Japanese Internment In 1988, Congress passed legislation that gave $20,000 to every Japanese American who had been interned in the camps. In signing House Bill 442, Reagan said, “We are here to right a grave wrong….It is not for us to pass judgment on those who made mistakes. And yet the internment was just that– a mistake.” The first payments were made to those 80 years and older in October 1990 accompanied with a formal letter of apology.