|Date(s):||February 19, 1942|
|Location(s):||Inyo, California | Siskiyou, California|
|Tag(s):||Japanese, Executive Order 9066, Tule Lake, Manzanar, Internment camps, World War II, Racism|
|Course:||“U.S. History: 1812 - 1914,” Foothill College|
On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, "giving the War Department authority to establish 'military areas'in which designated people would be subject 'to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War imposed.'" (Patton). Congress then implemented the order on March 21 the same year. At first the Western Defense Command encouraged voluntary evacuation, but after that they began "involuntary removal and detention of West Coast residents of Japanese ancestry." (Executive Order 9066). There were many people who raised their voices and expressed their dissatisfaction with the race hatred and compared the government's actions with those of Fascist countries. Larry Tajiri who was a former Washington D.C. correspondent declared to a Japanese news service, "We are loyal to the American flag but race hatreds are being stirred up now in the Fascist pattern." ("FR orders closed military areas").
The FBI had already started raids to take in Japanese people. "One hundred twelve enemy aliens, some of whom were members of organizations rooted in enemy countries, were siezed today by the Federal Bureau of investigation in Wide-spread raids." One of those seized in the area of Palo Alto was the head of a Japanese-American Society.
""Volontary" evacuation actually began before Executive Order 9066. Enemy aliens had been excluded from areas designated by the Department of Justice as early as December 1941, and many had moved out of the prohibited areas voluntarily." (Kashima 101). At first both German and Italian aliens were meant to be evacuated as well as Japanese-Americans and Japanese aliens, but eventually the order was applied only to the Japanese. Nevertheless, the voluntary evacuation failed and a mandatory evacuation plan was made, and the government started to look for areas suitable for both short and long term camps for the evacuees.
The first evacuees arrived at the new relocation centers in May of 1942, and by the end of June there were over 27,000 people at three relocation centers, or relocation camps -- Poston, Arizona, and Manzanar and Tule Lake in California (Kashima 149).