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February 22, 2017

75 years later, Japanese internment executive order remembered

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  • February 19, 2017, marked the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s controversial executive order, which allowed the government to incarcerate Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II.
  • From 1942 to 1946, more than 100,000 Japanese Americans were forced to live in harsh conditions in internment camps.
  • Minoru Imamura, whose parents emigrated to California in 1926, spent his last two years of high school in a Colorado camp and afterwards was drafted into the U.S. Army.
  • Imamura and his wife Mary were beneficiaries of a 1988 law signed by President Ronald Reagan that granted survivors $20,000 in reparations.
Class discussion questions 
  1. Essential question: Why is it important to study historical events like the Japanese interment camps during World War II?
  2. Do you think most Americans are aware of the executive order which incarcerated more than 100,000 people of Japanese descent, many of them U.S. citizens? Explain your answer.
  3. If given the opportunity, what questions would you like to ask Minoru Imamura?
  4. Can you think of other events similar to the treatment of Japanese Americans during WW II which have left a negative mark on U.S. history?

Sarah Seale contributed to today’s Daily News Story. 

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