WORLD WAR II FROM A TO Z
Why must we leave our home mama?
Why can’t I go to my school papa?
Why did they say we weren’t American?
I pledge allegiance to the flag.
I have so many questions.
Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor which brought the United States into the war, Executive Order 9066 was signed into law on February 19, 1942. Nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese resident aliens mostly from the West Coast were forcefully interned by the U.S. government starting in April 1942 and for the remainder of the war. Sixty-two percent of the internees were United States citizens.
At first, American public opinion did not turn against Japanese Americans. The Los Angeles Times characterized them as “good Americans” and many Americans believed that their loyalty was unquestionable.
About six weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, public opinion began to change. Much of it was from racial prejudice. Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, head of the Western Command and administrator of the internment program testified to Congress.
I don’t want any of them [persons of Japanese ancestry] here. They are a dangerous element. There is no way to determine their loyalty… It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen, he is still a Japanese. American citizenship does not necessarily determine loyalty… But we must worry about the Japanese all the time until he is wiped off the map.
|Tule Lake||California||May 1942||18,789|
|Gila River||Arizona||July 1942||13,348|
|Heart Mountain||Wyoming||August 1942||10,767|
See also my post about Executive Order 9066 in This Week in WWII – War Relocation Authority