February 19th: Franklin D. Roosevelt Signs Executive Order 9066 Relocating Japanese Americans to Internment Camps

February 17, 2023

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 32nd President of the United States, serving from 1933 to 1945. On February 19, 1942, he signed Executive Order 9066, which allowed the United States military to relocate Japanese Americans to internment camps during World War II. This order was a response to the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan on December 7, 1941, and was motivated by fear and prejudice against Japanese Americans.

Under the order, over 112,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens, were forcibly removed from their homes and communities on the West Coast and relocated to internment camps in remote areas of the country. These camps were typically surrounded by barbed wire fences and armed guards, and the internees lived in cramped and unsanitary conditions.

The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II was a dark chapter in American history and a violation of their civil liberties. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act, which formally apologized for the internment and provided reparations to surviving Japanese American internees.

The legacy of Executive Order 9066 continues to be felt today, as it serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting civil liberties and the dangers of prejudice and fear-based policies. It is also a reminder of the need to remain vigilant in defending the rights of all Americans, especially in times of crisis.





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