Reflecting on the Presidential Order that Sent Japanese Americans to Incarceration Camps

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Evacuees of Japanese descent carry their personal effects preparatory to setting up housekeeping at Manzanar Relocation Center in Manzanar, California. (Photo: Clem Albers/U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)

This Sunday marks the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The order forcibly removed approximately 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry from their homes and sent them to live in prison-like camps. Here in the Bay Area, flower growers in Richmond, sweet shop owners in San Francisco's Little Tokyo and others were packed into Greyhound buses and sent to assembly centers like Tanforan Racetrack in San Bruno, where they lived inside horse stalls before being moved to camps in the desert. We reflect on the legacy of that presidential order in the Bay Area and discuss its significance today.

The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive (Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley)


Ken Kokka, filmmaker, "Blossoms and Thorns"; his parents and grandparents were all interned during WWII

Karen Korematsu, founder & executive director, The Fred T. Korematsu Institute; her late father was a civil rights activist convicted for refusing to go to an interment camp

Emiko Omori, filmmaker, "Rabbit in the Moon"; was sent to the Poston camp with her family when she was a child

Theresa Salazar, curator of Western Americana at the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley