Executive Order 9066 was a huge violation of civil rights. Signed by President Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. The order made it possible for the military to deem areas of the United States off limits to people. This applied to certain groups of people or all of them whichever the military saw fit. After it was signed General John D. Dewitt made the whole west coast a militarized zone for people of Japanese Ancestry.

Japanese Americans had to leave everything behind, bringing only what they could carry. They boarded trains to go to one of ten internment camps. They sold the rest of their belongings that they couldn’t carry for extremely low prices. “As we watched the Caucasians coming to look over our possessions and offering such nominal amounts knowing we had no recourse but to accept whatever they were offering”(Keene 699). Eventually 46 years later the US government gave $20,000 and a apology to the 60,000 surviving Japanese people who were interned.

The public view of Japanese Americans didn’t help either. The people saw it as fighting the Nazis in the east and the Japanese in the west. “Rumors circulated that Japanese American farmers on Hawaii had plowed arrows in their fields to show Japanese pilots the way to military instillations”(Keene 698).  In the court of public opinion the Japanese were all traitor and spies. Shops where destroyed, people where beat up, and property was destroyied. People took it upon themselves to take care of the spies in there communities.

It would suck to have to sell all of my belongings at very low prices and move to a secluded part of the country with other white people. People thought this was okay and that’s crazy. I can’t imagine how todays America would react to a modern day internment camp.


Keene, Jennifer D. Visions of America,  3rd Edition. Pearson, 20160311. VitalBook file.