1941 : Congressman John Dingell Proposes Putting Japanese Americans in Internment Camps

August 18, 2022 all-day

On August 18, 1941, Congressman John Dingell of Michigan sent a letter to President Roosevelt. He had an idea which might cause Japanese officials to change their minds about Asian conquests.

What if the United States government rounded up 10,000 Japanese-Americans who lived in Hawaii? What if America incarcerated those people? Perhaps such action would ensure Japan’s “good behavior.”

Two months following Pearl Harbor, Dingell’s suggestion took flight. The idea that America should round up her citizens of Japanese ancestry, and incarcerate them in some fashion, received the President Franklin Roosevelt’s blessing.

Before long, more than 112,000 people were in internment camps surrounded by watch towers and barbed wire.

Even the United States Supreme Court approved.

Sources :

Carole Bos, “Japanese-American Internment”, Awesome Stories

T. A. Frail, “The Injustice of Japanese-American Internment Camps Resonates Strongly to This Day“, Smithsonian Magazine, January 2017.

For more information see Japanese American Internment.

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