PowerPoint: Japanese Internment - Center for History and New Media

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Transcript PowerPoint: Japanese Internment - Center for History and New Media

Turn to page 178 and finish your journal.
Directions: You are an American teenager learning of Roosevelt’s
declaration of war: Write an entry in your diary dated December 8, 1941
with your reaction on the space provided in your notebook.
How do you think things will change in the United States
as a result of the bombing of Pearl Harbor?
Do you think there will be distrust and perhaps
segregation of certain citizens?
On December 7, 1941, an angry white neighbor came to the home of
a Japanese American family. “You …started the war!” the neighbor
yelled. “You bombed Pearl Harbor!”
Ofcourse, Japanese Americans had nothing to do with starting the
war. But, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a cloud of
suspicion settled on these loyal citizens.
Throughout U.S. history, decision makers have been challenged by
questions about what constitutes fair and just actions during times of
war.
For example, the government has had to consider the extent of
citizens’ rights in a democracy during wartime.
To safeguard American security, can the government of the United
States carry out actions that violate the rights of American citizens?
Or may the Constitution never be violated even under wartime
circumstances?
As you watch the video, answer
the questions on
page 182 in your notebook.
Japanese Internment Video
“Forgetting the Constitution”
As a group, read the article “Forgetting the Constitution”.
As you read, take notes on page 183.
Decide as a group, what the top 10 most important ideas
from the article are.
“Forgetting the Constitution”
1. There is an anti-Japanese hysteria in America during
WWII. Many authorities expected the Japanese to attack
the West Coast.
Constitutional questions were certain to arise during World War II.
In the first few years of the war, the FBI arrested and jailed
thousands of Italians, Germans and Japanese suspected of being a
threat of having connections to pro-fascist organizations. People’s
belongings were confiscated, curfews were established and
thousands were taken into custody.
Fair treatment
by the law
No imprisonment
without trial
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the government feared
attacks on U.S. soil. These fears raised the issue of the possible
presence of enemy collaborators living within the United Sates. The
government had to determine whether their presence threatened
national security and if so what was to be done about it?
“Forgetting the Constitution”
2. In response to these fears, President Roosevelt signed
Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942.
It stated that all Japanese
regardless of citizenship, age,
gender, place of birth or
pronouncement of loyalty
were to be taken into custody
and interned.
“Forgetting the Constitution”
3. About 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West
Coast were forced to leave their homes and businesses.
“Forgetting the Constitution”
4. Japanese Americans had to move to distant internment
camps.
“Forgetting the Constitution”
5. Most Japanese Americans were torn or confused about
being moved.
6. They were United States citizens but they were also
proud of their Japanese heritage.
Most of the hastily constructed camps were located in bleak deserts.
Families were crowded together in flimsy housing with no running
water.
Barbed wire and armed guards surrounded each camp.
One resident recalled, “We struggled with the heat, the sandstorms ,
the scorpions, the rattlesnakes, the confusion, the overcrowded
barracks, and the lack of privacy.”
“Forgetting the Constitution”
7. They established schools, churches, recreational centers,
newspapers and their own camp governments.
“Forgetting the Constitution”
8. Despite the injustices suffered by their families, over
16,000 young Japanese American men in the camps
volunteered for military service.
“Forgetting the Constitution”
9. Eventually, the internment camps were closed and
people went out and did their best to build new lives.
10. Many Japanese Americans still faced racism when they
tried to find jobs and new homes.
In 1988, Congress passed legislation that gave $20,000 to every
Japanese American who had been interned in the camps. In signing
House Bill 442, Reagan said, “We are here to right a grave
wrong….It is not for us to pass judgment on those who made
mistakes. And yet the internment was just that– a mistake.” The
first payments were made to those 80 years and older in October
1990 accompanied with a formal letter of apology.