Four Hirabayashi Cousins: A Question of Identity by James Hirabayashi

The sudden onset of World War II on December 7th 1941 thrust the issue of identity to the forefront for all Japanese Americans. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the War Department to prescribe military areas from which any or all persons may be excluded.  This order served as the basis for Lt. General John L. DeWitt to issue the curfew and exclusion orders.  Public Proclamation No. 3 established a curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. for Japanese Americans in Military Area No. 1 and requiring them to stay within a five-mile radius of their homes.  The implementation of the exclusion order began on March 24, 1942, and by October, 1942, all Japanese Americans were removed from the West Coast incarcerated in hastily constructed concentration camps, also known as relocations centers.

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