Japanese Internment Camps

World War II Project

Rumors

When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor rumors immediately spread fueled by prejudice that there was a plan among Japanese-Amercians to sabotage the war effort.

After the Bombing

Two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Executive Order 9066 ordering all Japanese-Americans on the West Coast to evacuate. 120,000 people (many were American citizens) were sent to 10 different internment camps. This was for 'national security'.

After the Executive Order was signed

After the Executive Order was signed those of Japanese ancestry were only given days to pack their belongings, and figure out what to do with their houses, farms, businesses and other possessions.

Internment Camps

The internment camps were located in California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, and Arkansas.

Locations of the camps:

  • Amache (Granda), Colorado
  • Opened: August 42, 1942
  • Peak population: 7,318
  • Gila River, AZ
  • Opened: July 20, 1942
  • Closed: November 10, 1946
  • Peak population: 13,348
  • Heart Mountain, WY
  • Opened: August 12, 1942
  • Closed: November 10, 1945
  • Peak population: 10,767
  • Jerome, AR
  • Opened: October 6, 1942
  • Closed: June 30, 1944
  • Peak population: 8,497
  • Manzanar, CA
  • Opened: March 21, 1942
  • Closed: November 21, 1945
  • Peak population: 10,046
  • Minidoka, ID
  • Opened: August 10, 1942
  • Closed: October 28, 1945
  • Peak population: 9,397
  • Poston, AZ
  • Opened: May 8th, 1942
  • Closed: November 30, 1945
  • Peak population: 17,814
  • Rohwer, AR
  • Opened: September 18, 1942
  • Closed: November 30, 1945
  • Peak population: 8,475
  • Topaz, UT
  • Opened: September 11, 1942
  • Closed: March 20, 1946
  • Peak population: 8,130
  • Tule Lake, CA
  • Opened: May 27, 1942
  • Closed: March 20, 1946
  • Peak population: 18,789

Conditions in the Camps

Conditions in the camps were overcrowded, they provided poor living conditions, they had no cooking or plumbing facilities, coal was hard to come by so it would be cold, people slept under as many blankets as they were allowed, and food was rationed 48 cents per internees.

Life in Internment Camps

  • Tule Lake was where those who caused problems or refused to work were sent.
  • People in Tule Lake held demonstrations or strikes saying their constitutional rights were being violated
  • In 1944 and 1945 the Amache camp held funeral services for those who died in action.
  • Gila River was composed of two camps: Butte and Canal
  • The internment camps never killed or worked anyone to death
  • Many camps had schools for children to attend and activities for people to do.

Effects after they were released from camps

In 1948, the government distributed $37 million in reparations. In 1988 Japanese-Americans persuaded Congress to provide a official apology and a additional payment of $20,000 to each surviving internee.