"This nation will remain a neutral nation, but I cannot ask that every American remain neutral in thought as well."
- President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939
Even before the Japanese-Americans were relocated, their livelihood was seriously threatened when all accounts in American branches of Japanese banks were frozen. Then, religious and political leaders were arrested and often put into holding facilities or relocation camps without letting their families know what had happened to them.
The order to have all Japanese-Americans relocated had serious consequences for the Japanese-American community. Even children adopted by caucasian parents were removed from their homes to be relocated. Sadly, most of those relocated were American citizens by birth. Many families wound up spending three years in facilities. Most lost or had to sell their homes at a great loss and close down numerous businesses.
Research and Respond:
Go to the next page to submit your letter and chart on Japanese internment.
- Find photographs of Japanese Americans being evacuated and in internment camps. Choose one photo that moves you. Try to find out who the person(s) was. Write a letter to him/her in the camp. What thoughts and feelings would you like to convey about their situation? How do you feel about them being locked up while you are free to continue living where you do, continue going to school, etc.?
- Use the map of Japanese internment camps in the US and identify the number of Japanese Americans imprisoned at each camp. Create a chart or a graph illustrating where the camps were located and how many citizens were there. How you create the chart or graph is up to you, but be sure the data is accurate.