The internment of Japanese Americans

   On February 19,1942, a little more than two months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the forcible removal of approximately 112,000 persons of Japanese ancestry from their homes in the Pacific Coast states to "relocation," or detention, camps. Although approximately two-thirds of those detained were American citizens, the government feared they would sabotage the American war effort, even though many Japanese American soldiers were fighting bravely in the U.S. Armed Forces. The camps were closed when the war ended in 1945. In 1988 continuing controversy over the forced internments led Congress to pass a bill awarding each of the surviving internees $20,000.