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Humpday History Highlight

By Wyatt Earp | January 14, 2009

<i> Japanese Internment Camp, Heart Mountain, Wyoming, c. 1943</i>

Japanese Internment Camp, Heart Mountain, Wyoming, c. 1943

January 14, 1942 - Roosevelt ushers in Japanese-American internment

On this day in 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues Presidential Proclamation No. 2537, requiring aliens from World War II-enemy countries–Italy, Germany and Japan–to register with the United States Department of Justice. Registered persons were then issued a “Certificate of Identification for Aliens of Enemy Nationality.” A follow-up to the Alien Registration Act of 1940, Proclamation No. 2537 facilitated the beginning of full-scale internment of Japanese Americans the following month.

Not exactly America’s finest hour.

Ostensibly issued in the interest of national security, Proclamation No. 2537 permitted the “arrest, detention and internment” of enemy aliens who violated restricted areas, such as ports, water treatment plants or even areas prone to brush fires, “for the duration of the war.” A month later, a reluctant but resigned Roosevelt signed the War Department’s blanket Executive Order 9066, which authorized the physical removal of all Japanese Americans into internment camps. (H/T -

For the record, I believe Roosevelt was a very good president. (His fifth cousin, Theodore Roosevelt, was a much better president, in my opinion.) However, I am always amazed when hardcore liberals neglect to mention this event when praising FDR.

Right or wrong, Roosevelt’s primary interest was keeping the country safe during a time of war. Sixty years later, I would argue that history has not judged his actions too harshly.

Topics: HHH |

6 Responses to “Humpday History Highlight”

  1. Old NFO Says:
    January 14th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Well, since they’re STILL arguing over George Washington, I think it’ll be another couple of generations before the PC police catch up to FDR. He did what he thought was right at the time.

  2. USA_Admiral Says:
    January 15th, 2009 at 9:44 am

    It was a different time back then.
    Wrong as it was FDR was calling the shots.

  3. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 15th, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Old NFO - Agreed.

    Admiral - And like Old NFO said, he did what he thought was right for the situation.

  4. Doghouse Says:
    January 15th, 2009 at 11:35 am

    So, they gathered them up and dressed them like extras in “Little House on the Prairie”?

  5. Morgan Says:
    January 15th, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    The interesting thing about the internments is what happened after. Efforts were made to repay the Japanese-Americans for the internment (frankly, we went way out of our way to atone for E.O. 9066), but nothing was done for either the German or Italian-Americans to atone for the same thing.

    There was nothing to be proud of about the internments; it had to be done. There was no way of knowing for sure that the interned were genuinely loyal to America and not their ancestral homelands.

  6. Alan B Says:
    January 16th, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    “Humpday” is a word unknown in the UK. Had to look it up to find out what on earth you were talking about.

    This site has been an education in current American language and thinking!

    Still don’t know who Jack Bauer is! (Dammit?)