Today in History: February 19th, 1942 – Roosevelt Signs Executive Order

Seventy-five years ago today, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. On February 19th, 1942, just over two months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the President authorized the removal of people from military areas “as deemed necessary or desirable”. Shortly after, the entire West Coast was deemed as a military area. This Executive order, along with increased anti-Japanese sentiment after the bombing, led to the removal of many Japanese Americans from their homes. By June of that year, there were over 110,000 Japanese Americans in internment camps. Their living conditions in the camps were severe and treatment extremely harsh.

I often think this part of history tends to be looked over. We focus so much on what went on in the battlefields that we don’t always consider what happened here in the States. I wanted to write about this topic today because I’ve been reading quite a bit about the internment camps for my current work-in-progress. The novel will take place after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and I hope to capture several different viewpoints concerning the internment of Japanese Americans. It certainly is a heavy topic, but so important to learn about. Have you read anything – particularly nonfiction – about internment camps?

For now, I’m off to do more research.


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