February 19, 2022 — On February 19 1942, US President Roosevelt signed executive order 9066 which allowed regional military commanders to designate “military areas” from which any or all persons may be excluded. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
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I wish to dedicate this post to the memory of US Senator Daniel Ken Inouye, who was elected the first U.S. Representative for the State of Hawaii.
At the swearing ceremony, speaker of the house Sam Raybrurn asked him to raise his right hand and say:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
Everyone knew that Inouye had lost his right hand fighting the Nazis in Italy. [Assault on Colle Musatello, April 21 1945] Inouye ignored the insult, raised his left hand, and took the oath…
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This authority was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the West Coast, including all of California and parts of Oregon, Washington, and Arizona, except for those in government camps.
Of 127,000 Japanese Americans living in the continental United States at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, 112,000 resided on the West Coast.
About 80,000 were Nisei (literal translation: “second generation”; American-born Japanese with U.S. citizenship) and Sansei (“third generation”; the children of Nisei). The rest were Issei (“first generation”) immigrants born in Japan who were ineligible for U.S. citizenship under U.S. law.
The United States Census Bureau assisted the internment efforts by spying and providing confidential neighborhood information on Japanese Americans. The Bureau denied its role for decades, but it became public in 2007.
In 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the removal by ruling against Fred Korematsu’s appeal for violating an exclusion order. The Court limited its decision to the validity of the exclusion orders, avoiding the issue of the incarceration of U.S. citizens without due process.
In 1980, under mounting pressure from the Japanese American Citizens League and redress organizations, President Jimmy Carter opened an investigation to determine whether the decision to put Japanese Americans into concentration camps had been justified by the government.
He appointed the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) to investigate the camps. The Commission’s report, titled Personal Justice Denied, found little evidence of Japanese disloyalty at the time and concluded that the incarceration had been the product of racism. It recommended that the government pay reparations to the internees.
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 which apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government and authorized a payment of $20,000 (equivalent to $42,000 in 2018) to each camp survivor.
The legislation admitted that government actions were based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”
Better late than never…
The California State Assembly has formally apologized for its role in the detention.
Two internment camps were in California: Manzanar on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada and Tule Lake near the Oregon state line. The Tule Lake was the largest of all these camps.
The resolution, introduced by State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi on January 28 2020, was unanimously approved by the Assembly’s judiciary committee on February 6 2020.
On February 20 2020, the Assembly unanimously passed the resolution, one day after the Day of Remembrance, which commemorates Mr. Roosevelt’s signing the internment order in 1942.
The resolution reads:
Japanese American Internment During WWII
Internment of Japanese Americans — Wikipedia
80 Years Ago — President Roosevelt Orders Internment of Japanese Americans (February 19 1942)