On December 8, 1941 the United States declared war against Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7. As a result President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19 1942, which authorized the establishment of war relocation camps for the protection of the United States against reconnaissance and sabotage by Japanese decedents. It was believed that all Japanese decedents located near the Pacific Coast posed a threat to defense, however Japanese decedents in Hawaii were not required to relocate despite the large population within the state. In other areas however, Japanese decedents were initially asked to willingly leave their residences and move to war relocation camps. As time went on mandatory evacuations initiated by the government transpired throughout California, eventually removing all people of Japanese decent. Throughout the evacuation process, the government made reassurances to those leaving that they would assist them with their land, businesses, material possession, as well as providing them with adequate living conditions in the temporary assembly centers and the permanent relocation centers once they were transferred. Despite the government’s promises and reassurance the Japanese encountered inhumane treatment and substandard living conditions throughout the relocation process.
Franklin D. Roosevelt approved Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942 to authorize the Secretary of War and Military Commanders the ability to establish military zones in designated areas. Within the order there were instructions detailing the support that the Secretary of War and Military Commanders would receive by Executive Departments, independent establishments and other national groups. These groups would assist in organizing “medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities and services” for people being relocated to the centers.
In the process of building the evacuation centers, The San Francisco News was updating the public as to the intentions of the government for the sites and the families that were being relocated. Camps were said to include “prefabricated homes, schools, churches, and other public buildings” for the evacuees. The government’s hope was that camps and evacuees would be self-sufficient, thus requiring little involvement of the government. Prior to arriving at the permanent lodging sites several families would be placed in provisional housings, where it was affirmed that the they would have comfortable accommodations. Within the camps there would be food and shelter, as well as entertainment and recreation while they waited to get permanently place. As the development of the camps proceeded several news articles repeatedly affirmed that the evacuees would be able to continue living their lives with minor limitations.
In preparation for evacuation, government offices organized facilities in order...