Seventy-four days after the Japanese military's attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. The order allowed military commanders to set up an Exclusion Area where Japanese and Japanese Americans could not be present to guard “against espionage and against sabotage.” This area encompassed all of California, southern Arizona, and western Washington and Oregon. In this area resided 110,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans who were eventually detained in War Relocation Authority (WRA) camps. The camps were consistently referred to as “resettlement camps” and “havens of refuge” by the Army public relations agency. Over half of the detainees were below the voting age.

Prior to WRA detention, Japanese Americans were held in Assembly Centers, where many camp residents ...

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