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Internment of Japanese Residents in WWII

During World War II, the United States interned Japanese residents of the Western states in internment camps such as that at Manzanar in California. The reason was indicated in Executive Order 9066, signed in 1942 by President Roosevelt to give authority to the War Department to define military areas in the western states and to exclude anyone who might be seen as threatening the war effort (Houston and Houston xi-xii). Japanese living in the Western states were seen as potential subversives and were summarily removed to camps to prevent this. The camps operated until after the surrender of Japan, though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled at the end of 1944 that loyal citizens could not be held in detention camps against their will (Houston and Houston xii). The United States was wrong to place any Japanese who had not committed any offense into these camps whether they were citizens or not, a fact later admitted by the U.S., which also eventually tried to pay some reparations to those who had been so incarcerated.

Ansel Adams was a well-known American photographer, and one of his more interesting studies was long lost to view until it was revived in a book in 1988, with text by John Hersey. This was the photographic study done by Adams of Manzanar, the camp where Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II in one of the more shameful episodes in American history. The consignment of Japanese-Americans to these camps started in 1942, and more than 10,000 were placed in Manzanar in a desolate area of California. Ansel Adams went to Manzanar in 1943 and recorded the life of the inhabitants of that camp. He donated the pictures to the Library of Congress, and they remained there unseen for 40 years until the 1988 publication. Adams was a friend of the second director of Manzanar, Ralph Merritt, and Merritt was familiar with Adams' work as a photographer in Yosemite National Park, which was not far from the camp. Merritt in...

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Internment of Japanese Residents in WWII. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:49, May 31, 2020, from