Saturday, September 25, 2004

Teaching about Japanese-American Internment

Teaching about Japanese-American Internment. This is an interesting essay which gives teachers tips on giving instruction on this sensitive historical topic.

From the site:

When the United States entered World War II following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Japanese immigrants and their descendants, including those born in the United States and therefore citizens by birth, were placed in a very awkward situation. The immigrants were resident aliens in the United States, a country at war with their country of birth.

Amid the hysteria following the U.S. entry into World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. This order authorized the War Department to prescribe military areas from which any group of people could be excluded. This served as the legal basis for the evacuation and internment of over 110,000 Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans from the West Coast. Most were forced to sell their homes and businesses and suffered huge losses. Schooling and careers were completely disrupted.

Even more than 55 years after the closing of the camps, the Japanese-American internment experience continues to deeply affect the Japanese-American community. This period of U.S. history illustrates how the constitutional rights of individuals of a minority group may be at risk during a time of national crisis. This Digest provides six suggestions for teaching about the Japanese-American internment and guides to resources for teachers and students.

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