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Executive Order 9066 Exhibit Displays Japanese-American History

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Japanese-Americans incarcerated at a camp on West CoastHello Matadors! We invite you to come by and experience the Executive Order 9066 Exhibit which marks the 75th Anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing an order that led to the incarceration of thousands of Japanese-Americans. This exhibit is being held in the Library Exhibit Gallery on the second floor of the Oviatt Library.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in 1942, two months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. This order authorized the imprisonment of thousands of Japanese-Americans from March 1942 through March 1946. During this time, approximately 75,000 Japanese-American citizens and 45,000 Japanese immigrants (who were prohibited from becoming naturalized American citizens) were sent to camps throughout the west and along the west coast. Those affected by this order included thousands of Japanese-American children, the disabled, and elderly. This order forced many who were students to drop out of school and people and families to leave and lose their jobs and homes.

In 1945, at the end of World War II, the order against Japanese-Americans was revoked. Although those who had been living in these camps were released, many faced challenges rebuilding the life they once had. It was not uncommon for Japanese-Americans to find hostility and discrimination upon their return to society. In 1980, a congressional commission blamed the incarceration on “race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership.” In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed HR 442, known as the Civil Liberties Act, which provided restitution and an apology to those surviving Japanese-Americans who had been held in these camps.

The Executive Order 9066 Exhibit on the second floor of the Library includes first-hand accounts from those incarcerated about their many experiences in the mess halls, communal spaces, in addition to printed materials utilized by the government including a loyalty questionnaire to determine the “Americanness” of those imprisoned. It also includes posters from the CSU Japanese American Digitization Project that display letters, photographs and other materials that showcase the experiences of those in the camps. This digitization project is a collaboration of 15 CSU campuses working together to document the story of Japanese Americans. For more information please visit The Executive Order 9066 Exhibit will run through May 31, 207.