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Smithsonian Marks 75th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066

Exhibit Examines the Document That Established WWII Japanese American Incarceration Camps
February 15, 2017

WHAT: The National Museum of American History will host a media open house of “Righting a
               Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II,” a yearlong exhibition centered on the
               document that shaped the lives of Japanese Americans during the war and beyond.

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 17
               9 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Albert H. Small Documents Gallery
                 National Museum of American History
                 Madison Drive entrance, between 12th and 14th streets N.W.

WHO: Jennifer Jones, armed forces history curator, National Museum of American History
             Noriko Sanefuji, historian, National Museum of American History
             Mitzi Oka McCullough, former detainee, Poston War Relocation Center (AZ)  
             Seishi Oka, former detainee, Poston War Relocation Center (AZ)
             Bob Fuchigami, former detainee, Granada War Relocation Center (CO)

Feb. 19 marks the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, a document that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed in 1942, two months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. The order resulted in the imprisonment of 75,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry and 45,000 Japanese immigrants who were prohibited by law from becoming naturalized American citizens.

Some 45 years later, the U.S. Congress formally recognized that the rights of the Japanese American community had been violated and President Ronald Reagan signed HR 442, known as the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which provided an apology and restitution to the living Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II.

The exhibition “Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II” includes the original Executive Order 9066 document on loan from the National Archives, along with personal objects such as the Medal of Honor awarded to Private First Class Joe M. Nishimoto of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, objects from families who were incarcerated that reflect life in the camps and many historical images. 

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