Guess the year of this quote? President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "The principle on which this country was founded and by which it has always been governed is that Americanism is a matter of mind and heart; Americanism is not, and never was, a matter of race or ancestry."  Public statement by President Roosevelt on January 31, 19 praising the decision to form a segregated, all-nisei combat team. Roger Daniels. Concentration Camps: North America. (1971. Malabar, Florida: Kreiger Publishing Company, 1981,1989),
A year earlier, however, Roosevelt had authorized incarcerating more than 120,000 innocent people based on their ancestry, in what he called "concentration camps." Although two-thirds were U.S. citizens, they were targeted because of their ancestry and the way they looked. How could this happen? Correct answer:1943
“MILITARY NECESSITY” In 1941 the United States entered World War II after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Without evidence, key U.S. leaders claimed that all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast of the U.S. posed a risk to national security. Justifying it as a "military necessity," the government forced U.S. citizens and their immigrant elders to leave their homes and live in camps under armed guard.
The real reason why….. no military necessity for the unequal, unjust treatment of Japanese Americans during WWII In 1983, however, a U.S. congressional commission uncovered evidence from the 1940s proving that there had been no military necessity for the unequal, unjust treatment of Japanese Americans during WWII. The commission reported that the causes of the incarceration were rooted in "... race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership."  Recommendations section, Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. (1982. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997), page 459.
Timeline of events Chinese Exclusion ActMay 6, 1882 Congress passes the Chinese Exclusion Act, ending Chinese immigration for the next sixty years. Enforcement creates a labor shortage, leading to increased immigration from Japan to the mainland United States. Japanese laborers to HawaiiFebruary 8, 1885 Japanese laborers begin arriving in Hawaii, recruited by plantation owners to work the sugarcane fields. Western Defense CommandDecember 11, 1941 The Western Defense Command is established with Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt as the commander. Immediately after Pearl Harbor DeWitt issues public warnings of Japanese attack without substantiated evidence. He favors a mass purging of Japanese, German, and Italian nationals for security reasons. Baseless accusationsDecember 15, 1941 Accepting rumors of Japanese American espionage without any evidence, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox announces to the press, "I think the most effective Fifth Column work of the entire war was done in Hawaii... " Newspapers and radio spread unsubstantiated reports of spying by Japanese Americans. Naval intelligenceDecember 30, 1941 A Naval intelligence report states that the majority of Japanese Americans are loyal; that the "Japanese problem... is no more serious than the problems of the German, Italian, and Communistic portions of the United States population, and, finally that it should be handled on the basis of the individual, regardless of citizenship, and not on a racial basis."
FBI searches and arrestsJanuary-May 1942 The FBI searches thousands of Japanese American homes for "contraband" such as shortwave radios, cameras, heirloom swords, and explosives used for clearing stumps. The FBI arrests more "suspect" issei. After brief hearings, thousands of these men will be held for the duration of the war in Department of Justice and U.S. Army internment camps, separate from their families. http://www.densho.org/sitesofshame/family.xml Executive Order 9066February 19, 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, authorizing Secretary of War to exclude civilians from any area without trial or hearing and prescribe certain areas as military zones. The order does not specify Japanese Americans--but they are the only group to be imprisoned as a result of it. Roosevelt disregards intelligence reports that Japanese Americans are overwhelmingly loyal. The War Department lobbies to remove all people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast, while the Attorney General opposes the sweeping exclusion as unconstitutional. authorizing the Secretary of War to prescribe certain areas as military zones. Eventually, EO 9066 cleared the way for the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps.Japanese Americans to internment camps War Relocation AuthorityMarch 18, 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9102, establishing the War Relocation Authority (WRA), a civilian agency in charge of managing the incarceration camps. He appoints Milton Eisenhower as director. Hirabayashi protestMay 16, 1942 University of Washington student Gordon Hirabayashi turns himself in to the authorities. His written statement explains that he will not submit to the imprisonment on constitutional grounds. Like Yasui, Hirabayashi's case will go to the Supreme Court.