Executive Order 9066: The Internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans

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9780934052191: Executive Order 9066: The Internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans

Nonfiction. Prefaces by Michael McCone and Don T. Nakanishi. The days following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor were dark days of the American spirit. Unable to strike back effectively against the Japanese Empire , Americans in the Western states lashed out at fellow citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry. Executive Order 9066, signed by President Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, was the instrument that allowed military commanders to designate areas "from which any or all persons may be excluded." Under this order all Japanese and Americans of Japanese ancestry were removed from Western coastal regions to guarded camps in the interior. Former Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark, who represented the Department of Justice in the "relocation," writes in the Epilogue to this book : "The truth is--as this deplorable experience proves--that constitutions and laws are not sufficient of themselves. Despite the unequivocal language of the Constitution of the United States that the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, and despite the Fifth Amendment's command that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, both of these constitutional safeguards were denied by military action under Executive Order 9066."

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The days following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor were dark days of the American spirit. Unable to strike back effectively against the Japanese Empire, Americans in the Western states lashed out at fellow citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry.

Executive Order 9066, signed by President Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, was the instrument that allowed military commanders to designate areas "from which any or all persons may be excluded." Under this order all Japanese and Americans of Japanese ancestry were removed from Western coastal regions to guarded camps in the interior. Former Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark, who represented the Department of Justice in the "relocation", writes in the Epilogue to this book:

The truth is--as this deplorable experience proves--that constitutions and laws are not sufficient of themselves. . .Despite the unequivocal language of the Constitution of the United States that the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, and despite the Fifth Amendment's command that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, both of these constitutional safeguards were denied by military action under Executive Order 9066. . .

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Excerpt from "The Japanese in California" by Donald Pike and Roger Olmsted

Even as the internees lived behind barbed wire, an ironic footnote was being written by young Japanese American men in Europe and the Pacific. Japanese American soldiers served hazardous duty with specialized units like Merrill's Marauders, while others, serving as interpreters, provided probably the most important link in American Intelligence. The 442nd Combat Team, an all-Japanese American unit fighting in Italy and France, emerged with more casualties and more decorations than any other unit of comparable size and length of service in the Army's history. In all, more than 25,000 Japanese Americans served--and many died--in the armed forces during the war.

But the tragedy of the relocation was more than squalid internment camps, lost property, and sons dead and maimed. Japanese Americans suffered the psychological stress of confinement, the embarrassment and humiliation of being regarded as traitors to their country, and the inescapable fear that their ancestry rather than their actions would always determine how they would be treated. The relocation confronted other Americans with the fact that they had paid only lip service to a cherished tradition of equality and constitutional protection--and left them with a shame that no amount of rationalization or studied indifference could diminish.

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