On February 19th 1942 Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066


World War Two – Japanese Internment Camps in the USA

State representatives put pressure on President Roosevelt to take action against those of Japanese descent living in the US.

On February 19th 1942 Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. Under the terms of the Order, some 120,000 people of Japanese descent living in the US were removed from their homes and placed in internment camps. The US justified their action by claiming that there was a danger of those of Japanese descent spying for the Japanese. However more than two thirds of those interned were American citizens and half of them were children. None had ever shown disloyalty to the nation. In some cases family members were separated and put in different camps. During the entire war only ten people were convicted of spying for Japan and these were all Caucasian.

“It was really cruel and harsh. To pack and evacuate in forty-eight hours was an impossibility. Seeing mothers completely bewildered with children crying from want and peddlers taking advantage and offering prices next to robbery made me feel like murdering those responsible without the slightest compunction in my heart.” Joseph Yoshisuke Kurihara speaking of the Terminal Island evacuation.

They were housed in barracks and had to use communal areas for washing, laundry and eating. It was an emotional time for all. “I remember the soldiers marching us to the Army tank and I looked at their rifles and I was just terrified because I could see this long knife at the end . . . I thought I was imagining it as an adult much later . . . I thought it couldn’t have been bayonets because we were just little kids.”  from “Children of the Camps”

Some internees died from inadequate medical care and the high level of emotional stress they suffered. Those taken to camps in desert areas had to cope with extremes of temperature.

The camps were guarded by military personnel and those who disobeyed the rules, or who were deemed to be troublesome were sent to the Tule Lake facility located in the North California Cascade Mountains. In 1943 those who refused to take the loyalty oath were sent to Tula Lake and the camp was renamed a segregation centre.

In 1943 all internees over the age of seventeen were given a loyalty test. They were asked two questions:

1. Are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the United States on combat duty wherever ordered? (Females were asked if they were willing to volunteer for the Army Nurse Corps or Women’s Army Corps.)

2. Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States of America and faithfully defend the United States from any or all attack by foreign or domestic forces and forswear any form of allegiance or obedience to the Japanese emperor, to any other foreign government, power or organization?

In December 1944 Public Proclamation number 21, which became effective in January 1945, allowed internees to return to their homes. The effects of internment affected all those involved. Some saw the camps as concentration camps and a violation of the writ of Habeas Corpus, others though, saw internment as a necessary result of Pearl Harbor. At the end of the war some remained in the US and rebuilt their lives, others though were unforgiving and returned to Japan.

historyonthenet.com

1942 – U.S. President Roosevelt signed an executive order giving the military the authority to relocate and intern Japanese-Americans.


Never forget …

Many Americans worried that citizens of Japanese ancestry would act as spies or saboteurs for the Japanese government.  Fear — not evidence — drove tPublicly posted instructions for Japanese-Americans to turn themselves inhe U.S. to place over 127,000 Japanese-Americans in concentration camps for the duration of WWII.War II. Their crime? Being of Japanese ancestry.

Despite the lack of any concrete evidence, Japanese Americans were suspected of remaining loyal to their ancestral land. Anti-Japanese paranoia increased because of a large Japanese presence on the West Coast. In the event of a Japanese invasion of the American mainland, Japanese Americans were feared as a security risk.

Succumbing to bad advice and popular opinion, President Roosevelt signed an executive order in February 1942 ordering the relocation of all Americans of Japanese ancestry to concentration camps in the interior of the United States.

Evacuation orders were posted in Japanese-American communities giving instructions on how to comply with the executive order. Many families sold their homes, their stores, and most of their assets. They could not be certain their homes and livelihoods would still be there upon their return. Because of the mad rush to sell, properties and inventories were often sold at a fraction of their true value.     Internment Camp BarracksAfter being forced from their communities, Japanese families made these military-style barracks their homes.

Until the camps were completed, many of the evacuees were held in temporary centers, such as stables at local racetracks. Almost two-thirds of the interns were Nisei, or Japanese Americans born in the United States. It made no difference that many had never even been to Japan. Even Japanese-American veterans of World War I were forced to leave their homes.

 

Relocation Camps

Most of the ten relocation camps were built in arid and semi-arid areas where life would have been harsh under even ideal conditions.orced to leave their homes.

Ten camps were finally completed in remote areas of seven western states. Housing was spartan, consisting mainly of tarpaper barracks. Families dined together at communal mess halls, and children were expected to attend school. Adults had the option of working for a salary of $5 per day. The United States government hoped that the interns could make the camps self-sufficient by farming to produce food. But cultivation on arid soil was quite a challenge.

Evacuees elected representatives to meet with government officials to air grievances, often to little avail. Recreational activities were organized to pass the time. Some of the interns actually volunteered to fight in one of two all-Nisei army regiments and went on to distinguish themselves in battle.

Fred Korematsu        Fred Korematsu challenged the legality of Executive Order 9066 but the Supreme Court ruled the action was justified as a wartime necessity. It was not until 1988 that the U.S. government attempted to apologize to those who had been interned.

Fred Korematsu decided to test the government relocation action in the courts. He found little sympathy there. In Korematsu vs. the United States, the Supreme Court justified the executive order as a wartime necessity. When the order was repealed, many found they could not return to their hometowns. Hostility against Japanese Americans remained high across the West Coast into the postwar years as many villages displayed signs demanding that the evacuees never return. As a result, the interns scattered across the country.

In 1988, Congress attempted to apologize for the action by awarding each surviving intern $20,000. While the American concentration camps never reached the levels of Nazi death camps as far as atrocities are concerned, they remain a dark mark on the nation’s record of respecting civil liberties and cultural differences.

ushistory.org

 

 

Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks


 

On This Day: February 4

Rosa Parks
Born: February 4, 1913
Died: October 24, 2005
Age: 92 years old
Birthplace: Tuskegee, AL, United States
Occupation: Activist

Early Life & Family

Rosa Parks was born Rosa Louise McCauley on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. After her parents, James and Leona McCauley, separated when Rosa was two, Rosa’s mother moved the family to Pine Level, Alabama to live with her parents, Rose and Sylvester Edwards. Both were former slaves and strong advocates for racial equality; the family lived on the Edwards’ farm, where Rosa would spend her youth. In one experience, Rosa’s grandfather stood in front of their house with a shotgun while Ku Klux Klan members marched down the street.

Childhood and Education

Rosa Parks’ childhood brought her early experiences with racial discrimination and activism for racial equality. Taught to read by her mother at a young age, Rosa attended a segregated, one-room school in Pine Level, Alabama, that often lacked adequate school supplies such as desks. African-American students were forced to walk to the 1st- through 6th-grade schoolhouse, while the city of Pine Level provided bus transportation as well as a new school building for white students.

Through the rest of Rosa’s education, she attended segregated schools in Montgomery, including the city’s Industrial School for Girls (beginning at age 11). In 1929, while in the 11th grade and attending a laboratory school for secondary education led by the Alabama State Teachers College for Negroes, Rosa left school to attend to both her sick grandmother and mother back in Pine Level. She never returned to her studies; instead, she got a job at a shirt factory in Montgomery.

In 1932, at age 19, Rosa met and married Raymond Parks, a barber and an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. With Raymond’s support, Rosa earned her high school degree in 1933. She soon became actively involved in civil rights issues by joining the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP in 1943, serving as the chapter’s youth leader as well as secretary to NAACP President E.D. Nixon — a post she held until 1957.

Life After the Bus Boycott

Although she had become a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement, Rosa Parks suffered hardship in the months following her arrest in Montgomery and the subsequent boycott. She lost her department store job and her husband was fired after his boss forbade him to talk about his wife or their legal case. Unable to find work, they eventually left Montgomery; the couple, along with Rosa’s mother, moved to Detroit, Michigan. There, Rosa made a new life for herself, working as a secretary and receptionist in U.S. Representative John Conyer’s congressional office. She also served on the board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

biography.com

History… February 19


1807 – Former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr was arrested in Alabama. He was later tried and acquitted on charges of treason.

1846 – The formal transfer of government between Texas and the United States took place. Texas had officially become a state on December 29, 1845.

1856 – The tintype camera was patented by Professor Hamilton L. Smith.

1864 – The Knights of Pythias was founded in Washington, DC. A dozen members formed what became Lodge No. 1.

1878 – Thomas Alva Edison patented a music player (the phonograph).

1881 – Kansas became the first state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.

1922 – Ed Wynn became the first big-name, vaudeville talent to sign on as a radio talent.

1942 – U.S. President Roosevelt signed an executive order giving the military the authority to relocate and intern Japanese-Americans.

1942 – The New York Yankees announced that they would admit 5,000 uniformed servicemen free to each of their home ball games during the coming season.

1942 – Approximately 150 Japanese warplanes attacked the Australian city of Darwin.

1945 – During World War II, about 30,000 U.S. Marines landed on Iwo Jima.

1949 – Bollingen Foundation and Yale University awarded the first Bollingen Prize in poetry ($5,000) to Ezra Pound.

1953 – The State of Georgia approved the first literature censorship board in the U.S. Newspapers were excluded from the new legislation.

1959 – Cyprus was granted its independence with the signing of an agreement with Britain, Turkey and Greece.

1963 – The Soviet Union informed U.S. President Kennedy it would withdraw “several thousand” of its troops in Cuba.

1981 – The U.S. State Department call El Savador a “textbook case” of a Communist plot.

1981 – Ford Motor Company announced its loss of $1.5 billion.

1985 – Mickey Mouse was welcomed to China as part of the 30th anniversary of Disneyland. The touring mouse played 30 cities in 30 days.

1985 – William Schroeder became the first artificial-heart patient to leave the confines of the hospital.

1985 – Cherry Coke was introduced by the Coca-Cola Company.

1986 – The U.S. Senate approved a treaty outlawing genocide. The pact had been submitted 37 years earlier for ratification.

1986 – The Soviet Union launched the Mir space station.

1987 – A controversial, anti-smoking publice service announcement aired for the first time on television. Yul Brynner filmed the ad shortly before dying of lung cancer. Brynner made it clear in the ad that he would have died from cigarette smoking before ad aired.

1997 – Deng Xiaoping of China died at the age of 92. He was the last of China’s major revolutionaries.

2001 – The museum at the Oklahoma City National Memorial Center was dedicated.

2002 – NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft began using its thermal emission imaging system to map Mars.

2004 – Former Enron Corp. chief executive Jeffrey Skilling was charged with fraud, insider trading and other crimes in connection with the energy trader’s collapse. Skilling was later convicted and sentenced to more than 24 years in prison.

2005 – The USS Jimmy Carter was commissioned at Groton, CT. It was the last of the Seawolf class of attack submarines.

2008 – Fidel Castro resigned the Cuban presidency. His brother Raul was later named as his successor.

on-this-day.com

1986 – The U.S. Senate approved a treaty outlawing genocide. The pact had been submitted 37 years earlier for ratification.


In 1986, the U.S. Senate approved, 83-11, the Genocide Convention, an international treaty outlawing “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group,” nearly 37 years after the pact was first submitted for ratification.