A child looks at a soldier as he assembles for evacuation with his family.
Image: Library of Congress
Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the entry of the United States into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which granted the Secretary of War the power to designate certain areas of the country as military zones – and the discretion to remove people from those zones as he saw fit.
Soon virtually anywhere within 100 miles of the West Coast was subject to exclusion. Curfews and asset freezes were imposed on Japanese-Americans, and by May 1942, all people of Japanese ancestry (citizen and non-citizen alike) were being ordered to report to assembly centers for “evacuation” to “relocation centers” – that is, forcible incarceration in concentration camps. Read more…