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On Jan. 2, 1945, the West Coast exclusion orders were rescinded and internees allowed to return home.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