A | More | Perfect | Union --  Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution
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The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 stunned the United States, and became a catalyst for challenging the loyalty of all Japanese people living in the U.S. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing military authorities to exclude "any and all persons" from designated areas of the country as necessary for national defense. E.O. 9066 was the first step in a program that uprooted Americans of Japanese ancestry from their West Coast communities and placed them under armed guard for up to four years.

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Crisis Pearl Harbor

Japan's alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in 1940 focused world attention on the Asian nation's military power.... More
Constitution and Executive Order

Officials in the War Department who advocated the forced removal of Japanese Americans found President Franklin Roosevelt receptive... More

Registration of all Japanese Americans, both resident aliens and citizens, was the first step... More

The order to prepare for the move to the assembly centers left little time for packing, selling household goods, or locating safe storage... More
First Stop Assembly Centers

Temporary assembly centers were the first stop for most internees. Sixteen centers were established... More

Smithsonian - National Museum of American History - Behring Center