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President Franklin Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942.

HistoryLink.org Essay 310 : Printer-Friendly Format

On February 19, 1942, two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945) signs Executive Order 9066, setting in motion the expulsion of 110,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast to 10 inland prison camps.

This expulsion proceeded without due process of law as required by the U.S. Constitution. In fact, no camp inmate was accused of any crime or charged or convicted of any act of espionage or sabotage.

In the name of "military necessity," tens of thousands of people, two thirds of them American citizens, were forced from their homes, businesses, and neighborhoods and made prisoners of war in their own country. They were assumed to be guilty because of their ancestry.

Sources:
David A. Takami, Divided Destiny: A History of Japanese Americans in Seattle (Seattle: Wing Luke Asian Museum and University of Washington Press, 1998).


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Seattle posting of the first Japanese Exclusion Order (No 17, dated April 24, 1942)
Courtesy Schmid, Social Trends in Seattle (1944)


 
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