Documents: Executive Order 9066

"... by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of War and the Military Commanders ... to prescribe military areas ... from which any or all persons may be excluded ...."

Our Documents: Executive Order 9066
February 19, 1942

When the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7th, 1941, many Americans feared a second attack. Asians on the West Coast were already eyed suspiciously and soon became the victims of racially motivated crimes and discrimination. Fearing sabotage, Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. This allowed the United States military the authority to establish military zones from which they could then exclude any persons they deemed a threat to national security. Taken to an extreme, the military designated the entire West Coast of the United States a military zone and began the systematic, forced removal of over 110,000 Japanese-Americans from their homes and businesses. They were sent to relocation centers located in the deserts of the southwest and other parts of the United States. It was later recognized that this was a grave error in judgment and some four decades later, restitution was paid to those who had been forced to move.

bullet Executive Order 9066, February 19, 1942
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