"Suffering Under a Great Injustice": Ansel Adams's Photographs of
Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar
Historical Issue-Analysis and Decision-Making
In 1988, Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act, which recognized the "grave injustice" perpetrated on persons of Japanese ancestry in their evacuation from the military zones of the West Coast during World War II. The Act declared that the forced evacuation and relocation was "motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership" and authorized payments of $20,000 to surviving Japanese Americans who had been sent to relocation camps.
Evaluate President Roosevelt's decision to evacuate people of Japanese ancestry during World War II through Executive Order 9066 and the long-term consequences of this decision.
- What alternative course of action could President Roosevelt have taken?
- To what extent was Executive Order 9066 a violation of the principles of American democracy?
- What factors led to Congress's 1988 apology?
- Why did it take the government over 40 years to recognize the injustice?
- How do you think Adams would have felt about the 1988 apology?
Search congress.gov for the Wartime Parity and Justice Act of 2001, introduced in the House of Representatives as HR 619 during the first session of the 107th Congress. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate as Senate Bill 1237. Explain how this new act expands on the prior Civil Liberties Act of 1988.
PRISONER EXCHANGES- An individual shall not be precluded from being an eligible individual under subsection (a) if that individual was sent by the United States to Japan or territories occupied by Japan at any time during the period beginning on December 7, 1941, and ending on September 2, 1945, in exchange for prisoners held by Japan.
Wartime Parity and Justice Act of 2001
- What does the Wartime Parity and Justice Act of 2001 suggest about other decisions the government made regarding people of Japanese ancestry during World War II and the consequences of these decisions?
- Why do you think that so little has been written about the repatriation of Japanese aliens and Japanese-American citizens during the war?