U.S. Enters the War On December 7, 1941, a massive Japanese air attack on the U.S. Navy Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii caused the U.S. to enter World War II.
U.S. Prepares for War In order for the U.S. to enter the war the nation needed to strengthen its armed forces. Congress created a draft requiring all men from 21 to 36 to register for military service
All Americans Pitch In The United States needed to prepare the economy and gather a new labor force to work the factories.
The unemployment brought about by the Depression dropped drastically when thousands of men and women found work in defense industries or joined the military.
Rationing On the home front, food and products that were needed for the war effort were rationed.
Women in the Work Force Due to the draft, many women replaced men in the workforce. Rosie the Riveter became the symbol of the new working woman.
Japanese Internment Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. This Order allowed the military to circumvent the constitutional safeguards of American citizens in the name of national defense. The order set up the evacuation and mass incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry living in the West Coast.
Military Necessity Most who were forced to evacuate were either U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident aliens.
These Japanese Americans, half of whom were children, were incarcerated for up to 4 years, without due process of law, in bleak, remote camps surrounded by barbed wire.
They were forced to evacuate their homes and leave their jobs. President Roosevelt himself called the 10 facilities concentration camps.
Korematsu v. Unites States, 1944 This Supreme Court Case challenged the constitutionality of these Japanese Internment camps when Korematsu, a Japanese American, refused to leave his home in California and was convicted in federal court. Koremastsu lost. The Court stated;hardships are part of war…Citizenship has its responsibilities as well as its privileges, and in time of war the burden is always heavier.
An Apology, Too Little Too Late It was not until the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 that the government admitted the internment camps were wrong. All surviving victims of the WW II internment were issued $20,000 in reparations.
A War for Equality Ethnic and racial minorities did not always benefit from the opportunities offered by the war. Yet, in 1941, President Roosevelt signed an Executive order stating that jobs and training be given to African Americans in defense plants. As a result, over 2 million African Americans migrated from the South to the North.
Segregation in the Armed Forces The armed forces remained segregated; It made a mockery of wartime goals to fight fascism only to come back to the same kind of discrimination and racism here in this country. -Alexander J. Allen
The War Ends On May 8, 1945 Germany surrendered to the Allies. Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt met at Yalta (in the Soviet Crimea) in February of 1945 to discuss Germanys fate and other issues.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki In August of 1945, to avoid a long and deadly land war with the Japanese, President Henry Truman decided to drop two Atomic Bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945.
The War Ends They decided to divide Germany and its capital into four zones, each controlled by a different Allied Power. They also discussed the establishment of the United Nations and plans to end the war with Japan.