Executive Order No. 9066 Essay, Research Paper
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9066
AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF WAR TO PRESCRIBE MILITARY AREAS
WHEREAS the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection
against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense
premises, and national-defense utilities as defined in Section 4, Act of April 20, 1918,
40 Stat. 533, as amended by the Act of November 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1220, and the Act of
August 21, 1941, 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title 50, Sec. 104);
NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United
States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize and direct the
Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate,
whenever he or any designated Commander deems such action necessary or desirable, to
prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate
Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with
respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject
to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may
impose in his discretion. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide for
residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom, such transportation, food, shelter,
and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of the Secretary of War or
the said Military Commander, and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the
purpose of this order. The designation of military areas in any region or locality shall
supersede designations of prohibited and restricted areas by the Attorney General under
the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, and shall supersede the responsibility and
authority of the Attorney General under the said Proclamations in respect of such
prohibited and restricted areas.
I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War and the said Military
Commanders to take such other steps as he or the appropriate Military Commander may deem
advisable to enforce compliance with the restrictions applicable to each Military area
hereinabove authorized to be designated, including the use of Federal troops and other
Federal Agencies, with authority to accept assistance of state and local agencies.
I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Departments, independent
establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the said
Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the furnishing of
medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and
other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities, and services.
This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way the authority
heretofore granted under Executive Order No. 8972, dated December 12, 1941, nor shall it
be construed as limiting or modifying the duty and responsibility of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, with respect to the investigation of alleged acts of sabotage or the duty
and responsibility of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice under the
Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, prescribing regulations for the conduct and
control of alien enemies, except as such duty and responsibility is superseded by the
designation of military areas hereunder.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
THE WHITE HOUSE,
February 19, 1942 Commentary by Roger Daniels
On February 19, 1942, a "day of infamy" as far as the Constitution is
concerned, Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which was the instrument by
which just over 120,000 persons, two-thirds of them American citizens, were confined in
concentration camps on American soil, in some cases for nearly four years. Yet the
document itself is strangely reticent. It mentions no ethnic or racial group by name, nor
does it specify place. President Roosevelt delegated to the Secretary of War and to
"the Military Commanders whom he may . . . designate" the authority to name
"military areas" from which "any or all persons may be excluded" and
indicated that transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations" may be
provided for such persons "until other arrangements are made." All this was in
the name of the "successful prosecution of the war," which lawyers later
shortened to "military necessity."
This elliptical legal language was not intended to fool anyone. The press was given
guidance by military and civilian public-relations officers, so that the American public
was immediately informed that the Japanese, because they posed a threat to national
security, were going to be removed from California and put somewhere else under guard. A
few, including the President himself, publicly used the words "concentration
camp" to describe the places where the Japanese were sent. Later, after the discovery
of the Nazi death camps, many shied away from using the term "concentration
camp" to describe the sites where the American government confined 120,000 persons
who were guilty of nothing other than being ethnically Japanese. The American camps were
not death camps, but they were surrounded by barbed wire and by troops whose guns were
pointed at the inmates. Almost all the 1,862 Japanese Americans who died in them died of
natural causes, and they were outnumbered by the 5,918 American citizens who were born in
the concentration camps. But the few Japanese Americans who were killed
"accidentally" by their American guards were just as dead as the millions of
Jews and others who were killed deliberately by their German, Soviet, or Japanese guards.
The reasons for the establishment of these concentration camps are clear. A
deteriorating military situation created the opportunity for American racists to get their
views accepted by the national leadership. The Constitution was treated as a scrap of
paper not only by McCloy, Stimson, and Roosevelt but also by the entire Congress, which
approved and implemented everything done to the Japanese Americans, and by the Supreme
Court of the United States, which in December 1944, nearly three years after the fact, in
effect sanctioned the incarceration of the Japanese Americans.
The Court has always held that the "war power" and the right of national
defense could stretch the limits of federal authority, and Roosevelt and the lawyers in
the War Department who drafted Executive Order 9066 appealed to that power. But was there
a "military necessity" for EO 9066? As noted, the general staff officer charged
with assessing the West Coast situation did not think so, and the army’s G-2
(intelligence) reported to General Marshall, on the very day Roosevelt signed the order,
that its analysts believed that "mass evacuation [was] unnecessary."
From Prisoners without Trial: Japanese American in World War II. New York: Hill
and Wang, 1993. Copyright ? 1993 by Roger Daniels.
All of that portion of the City of Los Angeles, State of California,
within that boundary beginning at the point at which North Figuerosa Street meets a line
following the middle of the Los Angeles River; thence southerly and following the said
line to East First Street; thence westerly on East First Street to Alameda Street; thence
southerly on Alameda Street to East Third Street; thence northwesterly East Third Street
to Main Street; thence northerly on Main Street to First Street; thence northwesterly on
First Street to Figuerosa Street; thence northeasterly on Figuerosa Street to the point of
Pursuant to the provisions of Civilian Exclusion Order No. 33, this Headquarters, dated
May 3,1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry, both alien and non-alien, will be evacuated
from the above area by 12 o clock noon, P.W.T., Saturday, May 9,1942.
No Japanese person living in the above area will be permitted to change
residence after 12 o clock noon, P.W.T., Sunday, May 3, 1942, without obtaining special
permission from the representative of the Commanding General, Southern California Sector,
at the Civil Control Station located at:
Japanese Union Church
120 North San Pedro Street,
Los Angeles, California.
Such permits will only be granted for the purpose of uniting members of a family, or in
cases of grave emergency.
The Civil Control Station is equipped to assist the Japanese population affected by this
evacuation in the following ways:
1. Give advice and instructions on the evacuation.
2. Provide services with respect to the management, leaving, sale, storage or other
disposition of most kinds of property, such as real estate, business and professional
equipment, household goods, boats, automobiles and livestock.
3. Provide temporary residence elsewhere for all Japanese in family groups.
4. Transport persons and a limited amount of clothing and equipment to their new
The Following Instructions Must Be Observed:
1. A responsible member of each family, preferably the head of the family,
or the person in whose name most of the property is held, and each individual living
alone, will report to the Civil Control Station to receive further instructions. This must
be done at 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. on Monday, May 4, 1942, or between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00
P.M. on Tuesday, May 5,1942.
2. Evacuees must carry with them on departure for the Assembly Center, the following
(a) Bedding and linens (no mattress) for each member of the family;
(b) Toilet articles for each member of the family;
(c) Extra clothing for each member of the family;
(d) Sufficient knives, forks, spoons, plates, bowls and cups for each member of the
(e) Essential personal effects for each member of the family.
All items carried will be securely packaged, tied and plainly marked with
the name of the owner and numbered in accordance with instructions obtained at the Civil
Control Station. The size and number of packages is limited to that which can be carried
by the individual or family group.
3. No pets of any kind will be permitted.
4. No personal items and no household goods will be shipped to the Assembly Center.
5. The United States Government through its agencies will provide for the storage, at the
sole risk of the owner, of the more substantial household items, such as iceboxes, washing
machines, pianos and other heavy furniture. Cooking utensils and other small items will be
accepted for storage if crated, packed and plainly marked with the name and address of the
owner. Only one name and address will be used by a given family.
6. Each family, and individual living alone, will be furnished transportation to the
Assembly Center or will be authorized to travel by private automobile in a supervised
group. All instructions pertaining to the movement will be obtained at the Civil Control
Go to the Civil Control Station between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 5:00
P.M., Monday, May 4, 1942, or between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., Tuesday, May
5,1942, to receive further instructions.
Lieutenant General, U.S. Army
SEE CIVILIAN EXCLUSION ORDER NO. 33.PROCLAMATION 4417
AN AMERICAN PROMISE
By the President of the United States of America
In this Bicentennial Year, we are commemorating the anniversary dates of many of the
great events in American history. An honest reckoning, however, must include a recognition
of our national mistakes as well as our national achievements. Learning from our mistakes
is not pleasant, but as a great philosopher once admonished, we must do so if we want to
avoid repeating them.
February 19th is the anniversary of a sad day in American history. It was on that date
in 1942, in the midst of the response to the hostilities that began on December 7, 1941,
that Executive Order No. 9066 was issued, subsequently enforced by the criminal penalties
of a statute enacted March 21, 1942, resulting in the uprooting of loyal Americans. Over
one hundred thousand persons of Japanese ancestry were removed from their homes, detained
in special camps, and eventually relocated.
The tremendous effort by the War Relocation Authority and concerned Americans for the
welfare of these Japanese-Americans may add perspective to that story, but it does not
erase the setback to fundamental American principles. Fortunately, the Japanese-American
community in Hawaii was spared the indignities suffered by those on our mainland.
We now know what we should have known then–not only was that evacuation wrong, but
Japanese-Americans were and are loyal Americans. On the battlefield and at home,
Japanese-Americans–names like Hamada, Mitsumori, Marimoto, Noguchi, Yamasaki, Kido,
Munemori and Miyamura–have been and continue to be written in our history for the
sacrifices and the contributions they have made to the well-being and security of this,
our common Nation.
The Executive order that was issued on February 19, 1942, was for the sole purpose of
prosecuting the war with the Axis Powers, and ceased to be effective with the end of those
hostilities. Because there was no formal statement of its termination, however, there is
concern among many Japanese-Americans that there may yet be some life in that obsolete
document. I think it appropriate, in this our Bicentennial Year, to remove all doubt on
that matter, and to make clear our commitment in the future.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GERALD R. FORD, President of the United States of America, do hereby
proclaim that all the authority conferred by Executive Order No. 9066 terminated upon the
issuance of Proclamation No. 2714, which formally proclaimed the cessation of the
hostilities of World War II on December 31, 1946.
I call upon the American people to affirm with me this American Promise–that we have
learned from the tragedy of that long-ago experience forever to treasure liberty and
justice for each individual American, and resolve that this kind of action shall never
again be repeated.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of February in the
year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-six, and of the Independence of the United
States of America the two hundredth.
Gerald R. Ford
Federal Register, Vol. 41, No. 35 (Feb. 20, 1976)