CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Act of Infamy Against Japanese Americans

How a Human Rights Champion Gave in to Racist Suspicion After Pearl Harbor

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the declaration of war against Japan, Dec. 8, 1941. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

In recent months, president-elect Donald Trump has said he is considering setting up a registry to track Muslim Americans and foil jihadist plots from being hatched in the United States. This registry, he and his aides have claimed, is grounded in precedent: Franklin Roosevelt’s administration detained approximately 120,000 Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans in response to Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

Coincidentally, this February 19 marks the 75th anniversary of FDR’s Executive Order 9066 setting up the camps. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in upstate New York is devoting …

More In: Franklin Delano Roosevelt