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April 30, 1942: Buses line up at 23rd Street and Vermont Avenue to carry 600 Japanese to the temporary internment camp at Santa Anita racetrack. This photo was published in the May 1, 1942, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Gordon Wallace / Los Angeles Times

March 21, 1942: Japanese Americans on a bus to Manzanar internment camp in the Owens Valley. This photo was published March 22, 1942.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Feb. 4, 1942: Eigiro Kawana, Japanese fisherman, is detained by an FBI agent in San Pedro. Kawana expected the visit as he had packed a suitcase and wore warm clothing. Published Feb. 5, 1942.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

March 30, 1942: Two Japanese women get information from a Japanese clerk regarding plans for their removal. The photo was published March 31, 1942, with a story announcing the removal of all Japanese from the Los Angeles Harbor area.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Humphreys / Los Angeles Times

March 1942: A Japanese-owned store has closing-out sale.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ray Graham / Los Angeles Times

March 24, 1942: Shoppers crowd a Japanese-owned store at 1st and San Pedro streets as owners are forced to sell stock at low prices before being evacuated to internment camps. This photo was published in the March 25, 1942, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andrew Hugh Arnott / Los Angeles Times

March 6, 1942: A hardware store in Little Tokyo displays guns and knives for sale alongside a pro-American Red Cross poster. Because of the Japanese Internment, stores in Little Tokyo had to sell merchandise at low prices. This photo was published in the March 7, 1942, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ray Graham / Los Angeles Times

March 23, 1942: Military police stand by their Jeep during a halt in the convoy of Japanese internees. One thousand Japanese internees traveling in 200 cars and trucks were stopped somewhere in the Mojave Desert while en route to the new Manzanar camp. This photo was published in the March 24, 1942, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

March 24, 1942: Two small children of Japanese evacuees from San Pedro sit atop luggage piled in kindergarten room at Hongwanjo Buddhist Temple in Little Toyko. This photo was published in the March 25, 1942, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andrew Hugh Arnott / Los Angeles Times

March 23, 1942: A Japanese man says goodby before a train leaves for Manzanar internment camp. Many in the first groups sent to Manzanar had construction backgrounds and helped build the camp. Their families joined them later. This photo was published in the March 24, 1942, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andrew Hugh Arnott / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 23, 1942: Japanese residents of Terminal Island load a truck after the U.S. Navy ordered the area cleared. About 1,000 Japanese were ordered off Terminal Island. This photo was published in the Feb. 24, 1942, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

June 6, 1943: A panorama made of three prints shows Poston, the Japanese relocation center near Parker, Ariz. This image was published in the June 8, 1943, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George Watson / Los Angeles Times

June 6, 1943: Family unit in the baracks at Poston Japanese Relocation Center near Parker, Ariz. This photo was published in the June 8, 1943, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George Watson / Los Angeles Times

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Executive Order 9066: Japanese American internment in World War II

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Executive Order 9066: Japanese American internment in World War II

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Executive Order 9066: Japanese American internment in World War II

Feb. 19, 1942: President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, allowing the military to remove any or all persons from exclusion zones.  Within days, the military began removing all Japanese Americans and Japanese from the West Coast.

Within months, about 110,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans – almost  two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens –were  moved to internment camps scattered through eastern California, Arizona and other Western States.

Although the executive order was signed Feb. 19, it was first reported in the Feb. 21, 1942 Los Angeles Times by staff correspondent Kyle Palmer:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 – By executive order today President Roosevelt gave the Army authority to establish military zones anywhere in the United States from which any person, citizen or alien, may be evacuated and excluded.

The order is expected to go into effect in California and the Pacific Coast states as rapidly as conditions permit. No other geographical sections of the country are at present included.

Those chiefly affected are American citizens of Japanese parentage. Approximately 60,000 of those reside in California and an additional 14,000 are scattered through Oregon and Washington.

Lt. Gen. John I. DeWitt, commanding general for the Western Defense Command will have full discretion both as to the areas to be designated and the persons to be evacuated.

On Jan. 2, 1945, the West Coast exclusion orders were rescinded and internees allowed to return home.

The above photo gallery consists of a small sample of the Japanese internment images in the Los Angeles Times archive. During the next couple months, many more will be posted on this blog.

The text of Executive Order 9066 is at this website.

From Feb. 18, 2017, through May 21, 2017, the original Executive Order 9066 on display at the Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles.

For more, check out this Feb. 17, 2017, Los Angeles Times story: Roosevelt’s signed Executive Order 9066 on Japanese American internment to go on view in L.A.


  1. February 19, 2012, 8:57 am

    American women who were married to Japanese men at the time were given to option to go with their husband and children to the camp of internment. That is the case in my family where my 3 year old mother went with her parent's in order to keep their family together.

    By: loritrou
  2. February 19, 2012, 9:35 am

    This horrible episode in American history must serve as a lesson or the suffering, indignity, and pain inflicted on American citizens, repeat, American citizens, in the panic of war, will repeat itself. Everyone in the United States of America is an immigrant, except for the Native Americans, and we know all too well what happened to them, and to target ancestry as a potential threat is simply wrong. Lives and businesses built up over generations were severely damaged and often ruined. America has owned up to this incredible blunder, but the damage incurred was permanent. The fact that young American citizens of Japanese ancestry had to fight for the opportunity to prove their loyalty by joining and performing heroically, and often perishing, in the armed forces is a testament to their American spirit. This simply cannot be allowed to happen again.

    By: smauricemartin
  3. February 19, 2012, 9:48 am

    Supreme Court Justice William Douglas, on his deathbed, said his vote to support Roosevelt's executive order was the worse decision he made while on the court. A liberal President and a liberal Supreme Court Justice frightened into doing the wrong thing. Very scary.

  4. February 19, 2012, 10:16 am

    Just another dark moment among many in our nation's history.

    By: nowarnomore
  5. February 19, 2012, 10:36 am

    What happened to their homes and businesses? These were American citizens.

  6. February 19, 2012, 11:05 am

    if this happened to any other race they would be talking/complaining about this over and over and over again year after year.

  7. February 21, 2012, 3:52 pm

    Hundreds of years of slavery hardly compares to a few years in an internment camp. GET A CLUE…how about using your brain to do some critical thinking? No…its oo hard?

    And when did we ever go to war with Africa? Again…CRITICAL THINKING.

    By: gaucho420
  8. February 29, 2012, 9:43 am

    Wow – it seems to be offensive to you that people converse about this tragedy. It in no way diminishes the tragedy of slavery to admit that this happened.____An act of injustice against anyone is a shame. Do you contend that the hurt experienced by these people is irrelevant because you feel your pain was greater? It is an error to speak about what …"hardly compares …" to something else.

    By: hollywoodwebtalk
  9. September 22, 2014, 3:34 pm

    It did happen to other people of the same race. The Italians were discriminated against when they came here enmasse. Same with the Irish. Same with the Polish. Same with anyone except the English.

    By: BJH
  10. February 19, 2012, 11:20 am

    If one wants to understand FDR, the Democratic Party, and the subjugation of the rights of the individual to the rights of the group, here's a good starting location. Google "Earl Warren 9066" for California's role in this travesty. Out of all the states covered by 9066, only California insisted that its entire territory be rid of those of Japanese heritage.

  11. February 19, 2012, 3:25 pm

    Why was my post deleted?

  12. February 19, 2012, 3:27 pm

    Sad, freedom of speech no longer exists. Who did I upset? Was I wrong?

  13. February 19, 2012, 3:52 pm

    State run radio, television and newspapers!!! Selling your soul to the devil still makes you a slave!!! Only you'll be the first and last to witness the destruction from beginning to end until you are no longer needed. Then what awaits you. It won't be unconditional love. Stand with those who want equality and oneness for all, not just them and their own. Only you and GOD can judge your life deeds when your time comes. GOD already knows the answer and so do you. How will you explain yourself? With excuses or truth.

  14. February 19, 2012, 5:27 pm

    Very moving photographs of high quality

    By: stephen
  15. February 19, 2012, 5:48 pm

    You don't have to be Japanese – having happened to one race who are citizens in this country, it could happen to ANY race who are citizens of this county. Middle Easterners are probably next.

    By: kkkya
  16. February 19, 2012, 7:37 pm

    I guess no one back then stood up for these American Citizens…who will it be next time?

  17. February 21, 2012, 10:03 am

    what a beautiful family !!!!

    By: oguz
  18. February 21, 2012, 12:15 pm

    Truly a dark period in the history of our nation.

  19. March 22, 2012, 10:01 pm

    […] one is from the Los Angeles Times (pic #8) and shows a jeep among the auto train towards the internment camps in 1942.  The caption to this […]

  20. November 6, 2012, 4:24 pm

    what wwere the japanese american proovied with

    By: maggie
  21. November 12, 2012, 2:18 pm

    All of those homes had a shrine in the hall with candles honoring the God of all Japanese-Hiro Hito.
    He was also the commander of the Japanese armed forces. He was above everyone, literally.
    Being born in America doesn't make you an American any more than being born in a kitchen
    makes you a great chef.

    By: cbristol2@
  22. January 19, 2013, 4:03 pm

    that muzt of been horible to go through…..

    By: narnia
  23. February 15, 2015, 11:59 pm

    First off, I am not an American. Though there is much that I do admire about America, I am a Canadian.
    I would like to submit the obvious, that is often overlooked by the eyes of the comfortable and morally superior in the present day. It was 1941, a deliberate, premeditated -with the subterfuge of diplomatic effort- attack, catapulted a generation just recovering from years of economic, and agricultural, hardships, into yet another unknown, dangerous, and scary reality. This was the time devoid of instant communication over long distances,immediate factual confirmations of events or actions, and even more suspicion of people who were not your immediate family, than is likely experienced in present times.The American government did not have the luxury of time, or resources, to vet the patriotism of a very visible minority, in a time of heightened fear and resentment. The internment of over 60,000 people though reprehensible to the morally superior and comfortable, in the present day, is in fact understandable in that time and place in America's history.There was, to my knowledge, no great act of sabotage against America in these regions, during this time, Yet as a handful of men demonstrated on September 11, 2001, it would not take much in the way of imagination, to truly effect a horrible outcome upon a placid populace, and in turn, unleash a substantially more grievous reactionary response.The one unmitigated travesty committed by the American government, at that time, against those interned, was that their property -personal and professional – were not held by the government in secured escrow for the entire length of internment and/or cessation of hostilities- so as to allow with the minimalist of concern and impediment, for those interned, to resume their lives, as any other American citizen. As long as there are wars, there will always be 'the fog of war'.
    Governments are not infallible on the best of days, let alone during apocalyptic conditions.They are charged first with the safety of their nation, all other considerations are secondary in a time of war.That was true then, as it is now,regardless of any one person, group, association, or subsystem's sentiments.
    See the problem, address the problem the best way possible given the circumstance, and fully and transparently redress any harm caused, when possible.Never ignore history, but never allow the past or present to so immobilize you, for fear of doing wrong, from doing nothing. Only my opinion.


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