Posts Tagged ‘Executive Order 9066’

Two of our high school classes went to the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York on Friday. We blew a bus tire on the way down, but managed to get a replacement bus to make it all the way there, about two and a half hours away. Because our visit was very abbreviated, I’ll touch on the exhibit that moved us the most, where we spent most of our time.


It was fitting that we arrived during this last week of April, though it was not planned this way. You see, the apple blossoms were blooming, just as they probably were exactly 75 years ago, when notices like these sprang up all over California. Executive Order 9066 had been signed by FDR only as few months before, and now, it was taking effect.

April 25th, 1942-75 yrs this past week.
Anxious residents wait outside a ‘civil control station’ in San Francisco where they will be given their instructions for evacuation day. Dorothea Lange

From the Museum: “On February 19, 2017 — the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 — the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum opened a new photographic exhibition entitled, IMAGES OF INTERNMENT: THE INCARCERATION OF JAPANESE AMERICANS DURING WORLD WAR II, with over 200 photographs including the work of Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams. Signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Executive Order 9066 led to the incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese descent — including approximately 80,000 American citizens — during World War II.”

“In the tense weeks after Japan’s December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, many Americans — particularly those on the Pacific Coast — feared enemy attack and saw danger in every corner. Rumors and sensational media reports heightened the climate of fear. Under pressure from military and political leaders, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. It is widely viewed today as a serious violation of civil liberties.”

I’ll leave you with more photos of photos I took on our visit.

Kimiko Kitagaki waits for an ‘evacuation’ bus that is due to leave in 30 minutes. Dorothea Lange, May 6, 1942


Kimito’s dad, former owner of a dyeing and cleaning business.

Members of the Mochida Family Awaiting Evacuation

Arrival at the Santa Anita Assembly Center from San Pedro.

1945. A girl exits a truck that transported her family from the Granada, Colorado camp to a railroad depot, where they will board a train for California. Hikaru Iwasaki .Oct. 6, 1945


We will debrief and unpack our trip down to Hyde Park on Monday-there were many more things to see, but this is where we spent our 2 hours.


And I’d say the kids learned that the past is still relevant, with no prompting needed. But how little we adults really seem to learn from the past.

The author with Karen Korematsu, daughter of Fred, now head of the Korematsu Institute, at a plenary presentation on Human Rights for the Law, Youth and Citizenship Program of the New York State Bar Association, Oct. 2015. (see above)

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