The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor inflamed long standing anti-Japanese prejudice on the West Coast. Media and interest groups fueled public anxiety and fears of potential espionage and sabotage by Japanese Americans. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, granting the War Department the authority to “prescribe military areas” from which “any or all persons may be excluded.” While Executive Order 9066 did not mention Japanese Americans, it was directed at them. Beginning in March of 1942, more than 110,000 persons, the majority of whom were U.S. citizens, were sent to ten incarceration camps in some of the most remote locations and harshest environments within the continental United States.
Topaz is part of the collection: World War II Japanese American Confinement Sites. More information about Topaz will be available in the near future. We encourage you to visit the Densho Digital Archive and the Topaz Museum website for more information at this time.