From Pearl Harbor to an Apology, an Internment Timeline

 

NOV. 27, 2015

 

1941

Dec. 7 | Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. The next day, the United States and Britain declare war on Japan.

1942

Feb. 14 | Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt, head of the Western Defense Command, recommends moving “Japanese and other subversive persons” from the West Coast.

Feb. 19 | President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, authorizing “military areas” from which “any or all persons” may be excluded without trial or hearing. It does not specify an ethnic group, but is applied only to residents with Japanese ancestry.

Photo

Credit The Kansas City Star

March 1 | General DeWitt begins to evict all people of Japanese ancestry from the western halves of Washington State, California, Oregon and parts of Arizona, regardless of citizenship status.

Photo

An evacuation poster issued by the United States Army.

March 22 | The first Japanese and Japanese-American people are moved from Los Angeles to a temporary Army detention center. Over five months, more than 120,000 Japanese-Americans, most of them born in the United States, are forced to relocate to government camps.

1943

Photo

Inside barracks-style housing at Manzanar, cloth partitions were hung for privacy. Credit Dorothea Lange/U.S. National Park Service

June 21 | The Supreme Court rules that a curfew may be imposed on members of a minority group based solely on ancestry.

1944

June 6 | D-Day.

December | President Roosevelt rescinds Executive Order 9066 after the Supreme Court rules that “loyal” citizens cannot be lawfully detained. Camps were closed and internees were released.

1945

Aug. 6 | The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Photo

A huge expanse of ruins left after the explosion of the atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945, in Hiroshima. Credit Associated Press

Aug. 9 | Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

Aug. 14 | Japan surrenders.

October-December | Most internment camps are closed.

1946

Oct. 30 | Final release of Japanese-Americans from detention centers. None of those incarcerated were ever found guilty of sabotage or espionage. While they were being detained, many families lost their homes, land and all of their belongings.

1948

July 2 President Harry S. Truman signs Evacuation Claims Act enabling detainees to sue the government for damages and property loss. In all, about $35 million is paid by the government — less than 10 cents per dollar lost in homes, businesses, property and savings.

1952

Internment camp survivors successfully lobby Congress to allow people from Japan to become naturalized citizens.

1976

Feb. 19 | President Gerald R. Ford formally rescinds Executive Order 9066.

1988

Photo

Aug. 10 | President Ronald Reagan signs legislation apologizing to internees and providing $20,000 in restitution for each survivor. In all, the government paid about $1.6 billion to internment camp survivors.

CONTINUE READING…

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