1942 March 18

FDR Creates War Relocation Authority For Japanese American Evacuation

 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9102 on this day, creating the War Relocation Authority (WRA), which would be responsible for the evacuation and internment of the Japanese-Americans from the West Coast in World War II. FDR had authorized the evacuation of the Japanese-Americans on February 19, 1942, and the government’s action is widely regarded as one of the greatest civil liberties disasters in American history. The WRA operated the Relocation Centers, where Japanese-American evacuees were detained, and which are properly referred to as concentration camps. The government’s infamous program to evacuate and detain the Japanese-Americans officially ended on December 17, 1944.

Read Executive Order 9102: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=16239

Read: David Nelwert, Strawberry Days: How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community (2005)

Read: Greg Robinson, By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans (2001)

View Dorothea Lange’s Internment Camp Photographs: http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist/lange.html

Read a first-hand account of the evacuation and internment: Jeanne Wakatsuki Huston and James D. Houston, Farewell to Manzanar (2002)

Watch an interview with Jeanne Wakatsuki Huston: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDDFw5TGkJo

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