During World War II (WWII), the government had many questions to answer about what to do with Japanese Americans in the United States. There was no evidence, but many believed that the Japanese Americans were still loyal to their main land country Japan. With the surprise events at Pearl Harbor (where 2,335 American soldiers died, 1,143 were wounded, and eighteen ships destroyed) Congress decided to put Japanese Americans in camps.
With many Americans thinking that Japanese Americans would be spies or would try to do acts of violence, they imprisoned 127,000 Japanese Americans into 10 camps. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) did this with the Executive Order of 9066. Half of these Japanese Americans where kids, and they were in the camps for up to four years. Over two-thirds were born in the United States (some even faught for America in World War I) and were still forced to sell their property and move to camps (Ross).
These 10 camps did not have very good living conditions. All the camps were overcrowded and were “tarpaper-covered barracks of simple frame construction without plumbing or cooking facilities of any kind” (Ross). Coal and heat was not in an abundance, so they covered up in as many blankets as they were allowed. Food rations were only 48 cents per person. They were offered to leave the camps if they would join the United States military, only about 1,200 people chose this way out. Many dies in the camps from bad medical care, emotional stress, or by military officers if they did not follow orders. Kids were required to attend school and families ate together at large dining halls.
The fall of these camps came mostly in 1944, about three years after the Executive Order of 9066. In FDR’s fourth term he rescinded the act and all the camps were close by the end of 1945. The United States found 10 spies for the Japanese in America during WW II, and all 10 of them were not of Japanese descent (Ross).
This had to be tough on families, to have to sell everything, move into a terrible camp even though you did not do a single thing wrong to get there. These camps probably gave the Japanese the wrong drift about America. They probably think that us Americans are terrible people but we were just take the precautions of war (Ross).
Ross, Shmuel, and Ricco Siasoco . “Japanese Relocation Centers.” Infoplease, Infoplease, 2000. Web.