A Good List Of Great Americans Who Were Held In Japanese Internment Camps

By Grace Taylor
Manzanar National Historic Site. (Getty Images North America)

On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 90066, A.K.A. the deeply unconstitutional order to the military to round up anyone of Japanese descent and lock them in internment camps.

Why would the United States government do such a thing? Short answer: Racism. Long answer: On December 7, 1941, Japanese air forces struck a navy base in Hawaii without warning, killing and injuring over 3,000 American service members and civilians. The attack on Pearl Harbor was especially surprising and traumatizing because the United States wasn't officially part of World War II yet, and the Japanese hadn't made any declarations against the U.S. Of course, America joined the war soon after (and eventually won, along with the other Allied Nations). Their hand was kind of forced.