Japanese American History

Day of Remembrance

In February of 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, the presidential mandate that ordered 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry to be imprisoned in concentration camps during World War II.

Decades later, the order was deemed unconstitutional and was belatedly but dramatically reversed by the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Despite the reparations that were issued because of this act, Japanese Americans still feel a need for an official time for remembrance.

The “Day of Remembrance” is an annual observance of the signing of Executive Order 9066. Although it may bring back painful memories of a period in American history, the day also provides an ongoing reminder about the dangers of ever repeating the same offense against other individuals. In recalling the sad events of February 1942, the Japanese American community aims to remind the public about the need to protect civil rights. The Day of Remembrance also honors all who fought—and continue to fight—for freedom and equality among all people.


The Japanese American National Museum Store offers one of the world’s best selections of books, videos, DVDs, and other products regarding America’s concentration camps and the families who experienced them.

Your purchases support a worthy cause: promoting cross-cultural understanding as an antidote to prejudice and racism.

Visit our Books & Videos section for more books, videos, and DVDs about WWII incarceration, resettlement, and redress.

February 2001

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