Happy 9066 day.

Are you talking to me?

Just a reminder: on this date in 1942, FDR issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized commanders of the U.S. Armed Forces “to prescribe military areas … from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restriction the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion.” Soon after the order was given, public notices such as the one pictured here (read the full text ) began appearing, effecting the internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans—of which over half were American-born citizens—for the duration of WWII.

Gerald Ford rescinded 9066 in 1976.

For those of you looking for a way to commemorate the occasion, or just a way to pass the day, I recommend the following books:

Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories by Hisaye Yamamoto
No-No Boy by John Okada
Obasan by Joy Kogawa
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

10 thoughts on “Happy 9066 day.

  1. You know, I was just reading the text of the sign and realized that my mom was in San Francisco right after that happened. She had just graduated from high school in rural Oklahoma and moved to California to live with her aunt and work.

    She worked in Bakersfield at first, then transferred to San Francisco. She has talked a lot about her time there, she loved it! But, even though I knew about the internment, I never associated it with her time there. Truthfully, it was just a tiny footnote in my history book in those days, and I never even thought of asking her about it. It’s too late now, but I’d love to have heard her take on it.

    I’m glad it’s being talked about now. It was trivialized for far too long.

    • I can’t find any books by or about him, but our former mayor and congressman (and now secretary of Transportation), Norman Y. Mineta, was an internment camp prisoner along with his family. I know he has given speeches and such about his experiences and they had a powerful impact on me.

  2. Thank you for the reminder. I took an “Asian American Experience” college class last year (fulfills a multicultural requirement) and found it to be an amazing class. I learned a lot that I didn’t know, including stuff about 9066.

    • What literature (if any) did you read for that class? I’m teaching an Intro to Asian American Literature course right now. We’re reading No-No Boy next week.

      • Oddly we watched movies only. “A Thousand Pieces of Gold” (which was really hard to find and has very bad acting), “Joy Luck Club” (of course also good to read), “Picture Bride” which I believe is based on this book), and “The Killing Fields” (which is not strictly Asian-American but gave us a good background of the suffering of the Cambodian people prior to their immigration to the U.S.).

        Hope that helps. 🙂

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