The Internment of Japanese Americans: Records of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library

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Overview

On February 19, 1942, following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and Japanese Army successes in the Pacific, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive order 9066. In the name of security, Executive Order 9066 allowed for the summary removal of Japanese aliens and American citizens of Japanese descent from their West Coast homes and their incarceration under guard in camps. Amid the numerous histories and memoirs devoted to this shameful event, FDR’s contributions have been seen as negligible. Now, using Roosevelt’s own writings, his advisors’ letters and diaries, and internal government documents, this collection reveals the president’s role in making and implementing the internment and examines not only what the president did but why. This collection provides the background for a reassessment of how a great humanitarian leader and his advisors, who were fighting a war to preserve democracy, could have implemented such a profoundly unjust and undemocratic policy toward their own people.

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