Title

Executive Order 9066: Mass Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII

Abstract

On Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized the evacuation and incarceration of more than 110,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast of the United States. Japanese American families were torn from their homes, forbidden to speak Japanese and relocated to shoddy barracks behind barbed wire, watched at all times by armed guards in towers. The government categorized all Japanese Americans as enemy aliens and denied them the basic rights of citizenship for the duration of WWII. Despite all this, no Japanese American or Japanese national residing in the United States was ever found guilty of sabotage or espionage. Based on research and training conducted during an internship at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, my presentation documents the history of Japanese American incarceration, the subsequent national narrative constructed around “internment” and the process of developing a complex exhibit in a tumultuous climate.

Faculty Sponsor

David Schmitz

Tracks

Discrimination and Incarceration

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Olin 138

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Research Funding Source or OCS Program

Smithsonian National Museum of American History

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Apr 11th, 11:15 AM Apr 11th, 11:30 AM

Executive Order 9066: Mass Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII

Olin 138

On Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized the evacuation and incarceration of more than 110,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast of the United States. Japanese American families were torn from their homes, forbidden to speak Japanese and relocated to shoddy barracks behind barbed wire, watched at all times by armed guards in towers. The government categorized all Japanese Americans as enemy aliens and denied them the basic rights of citizenship for the duration of WWII. Despite all this, no Japanese American or Japanese national residing in the United States was ever found guilty of sabotage or espionage. Based on research and training conducted during an internship at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, my presentation documents the history of Japanese American incarceration, the subsequent national narrative constructed around “internment” and the process of developing a complex exhibit in a tumultuous climate.

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