Chronology of Japanese American Internment

September 1, 1939 Beginning of World War II.
December 7, 1941 Surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, precipitating America's entry into the war.
February 19, 1942 President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, giving the War Department authority to define military areas in the western states and to exclude from them anyone who might threaten the war effort.
May, 1942 Arthur and Estelle Ishigo are sent to Pomona Assembly Center.
August 12, 1942 Heart Mountain Relocation Camp opens with the first group of internees sent from Pomona Assembly Center in California. It is one of 10 camps in the western United States and Arkansas.
September 1942 Arthur and Estelle Ishigo arrive at Heart Mountain relocation camp.
February 5, 1943 The Wyoming State legislature passes a law denying American citizens at Heart Mountain Camp the right to vote. Similar laws were passed by other interior states where camps were located.
February 8, 1943 A loyalty questionnaire is required of all persons over the age of 17 in the internment camps for the purpose of recruitment into the army.
December 18, 1944 U. S. Supreme Court rules that loyal citizens cannot be held in detention camps against their will, the first major step toward the closing of the camps.
August 6, 9, 1945 Atomic Bomb is dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan by the United States.
August 14, 1945 Japan surrenders, ending World War II.
September 1945 Arthur and Estelle Ishigo are released from Heart Mountain Relocation Camp and return to the Los Angeles area.
November 10, 1945 Heart Mountain closes.
June 1952 Congress passes Public Law 414, granting Japanese aliens the right to become naturalized U. S. citizens.
1981 Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (set up by Congress) holds hearings across the country and concludes the Internment was a 'grave injustice' and that Executive Order 9066 resulted from 'race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership.'
August 1988 President Reagan signs Public Law 100-383 apologizing to the Japanese American internees and offering $20,000 each in reparations.
January 1998 Fred Korematsu receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (Korematsu was arrested for remaining in his home and not reporting to the local Assembly Center. He was convicted of violating E.O. 9066. The judgment was later overturned.)


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