This week is the 75th anniversary of the “Hero of the Left” President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s signing of order 9066. This order began the process of internment for 120,000 American citizens and residents of Japanese descent.
Coming shortly after the bombings of Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt’s administration feared that Japanese-Americans would become a fifth column in the United States for the Imperial Japanese government.
Internment camps were set up in which many Japanese, German and Italian-Americans were held under military watch for the duration of the war.
According to the Daily Caller:
“The overwhelming majority of the country’s Japanese population lived on the west coast. California, Oregon, Idaho, and Hawaii each adopted resolutions establishing days of remembrance for the 75th anniversary.”
83 year old survivor of the camps, George Nakata gave testimony to a committee in connection with the 75th Anniversary:
“I can never forget, upon entering the building, the smell of livestock urine, the pungent odor of manure underneath the wooden floors,” he said of the processing center to which his family was made to report.
Despite court cases suggesting that the Order was unconstitutional, it was upheld by the Supreme Court. It was also strongly supported by the media of the time including such papers as the Los Angeles Times who wrote:
“This is war,” the Times wrote. “And in wartime, the preservation of the nation becomes the first duty. Everything must be subordinated to that. Every necessary precaution must be taken to insure reasonable safety from spies and saboteurs so that our armed forces can function adequately and our industrial machinery may continue to work free from peril.”