Photos: With the stroke of a pen, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, on February 19, 1942, and put in place the mechanism to forcibly remove all people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast to incarcerate them in American concentration camps.
Curriculum Topic: Executive Order 9066; Exclusion Orders
Lesson Plan Courtesy of: Grace Morizawa, Education Coordinator, National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS).
Lesson Plan Synopsis: In this lesson students will not debate the question of whether the decision to incarcerate people of Japanese ancestry after the bombing of Pearl Harbor was justified. Indeed this question has been settled with apologies by Congress, President Bush and President Clinton on the behalf of the American people. Moreover, historians and other scholars who have studied the question and examined the historical evidence have concluded that the justifications for the mass removal of people of Japanese ancestry during World War II put forth at the time, by those who supported that action, were not supported by any evidence of a threat to the United Stated by people of Japanese ancestry. The decision, they argue was driven by other factors. It is now the accepted view that the incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry during WWII was a grave injustice. Rather than debate students will investigate as historians reading primary documents to understand why and how did this injustice take place.
Our Education Partner, the National Japanese American Historical Society collaborated with the Golden Gate Recreation Area, Valor in the Pacific National Park Service (NPS), other sites of significance, and Japanese American community of experts to provide this lesson plan.
Access the February 2017 Lesson Plan here.
Be sure to select "Download Student Edition Curriculum" and scroll to Session 3: The Reasons for Executive Order 9066 on p.13-19.