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Hawaii Nikkei Legacy Exhibit

War in the Pacific Begins

On December 7, 1941 Japanese Naval planes attacked Pearl Harbor bringing about the U.S. involvement in World War II. The attack shocked the world and cast Hawaii’s Nikkei under a cloud of suspicion. Martial Law was declared in Hawaii.

Fueled by fears of an invasion of the U.S. West Coast, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, which led to the internment of about 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast.

These individuals, most of whom were U.S. citizens, were forced to sell their homes, farms and businesses at a great loss. They were relocated under armed guard to ten internment camps away from the West Coast.