The Relocation And Imprisonment Of Japanese Americans During World War II

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The relocation and imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II has been and always will be a dark stain in American History. Due to America’s lingering racism and prejudices, many of our fellow Americans had to experience an ordeal that no other American should ever have to face. They lost their homes, businesses, land and more importantly, their freedoms, during a moment of time that was filled with resentment, mistrust, fear and hatred towards a fellow man (American) that was just as willing to fight and die for their country.
On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The next day, the United States and Britain declared war on Japan. Two months later, on February 19, 1942, the lives of thousands of Japanese Americans were dramatically changed when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. This order led to the assembly and evacuation and relocation of nearly 122,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry on the west coast of the United States. (1)
It is interesting to note that, despite the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans in Hawaii were not imprisoned in a large scale as they were stateside. Of the total Japanese American population in Hawaii-which made up nearly 40% of the population of Hawaii itself, and a large portion of the skilled workforce-only a few thousand people were detained. (2) The fact that so few Japanese Americans were incarcerated in Hawaii suggests that their mass removal on the West Coast was
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