George Takei posted this weekend about the Day of Remembrance on Sunday, February 19th. This day is the 70th anniversary of the day President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which permitted the military to circumvent the constitutional safeguards of American citizens in the name of national defense. According to Wikipedia, "Somewhere between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were subject to this mass exclusion program, of whom approximately two-thirds were U.S. citizens. The remaining one-third were non-citizens subject to internment under the Alien Enemies Act; many of these 'resident aliens' had long been inhabitants of the United States, but had been deprived the opportunity to attain citizenship by laws that blocked Asian-born nationals from ever achieving citizenship." George Takei, at 5 years old, was one of the Japanese-Americans sent to the internment camps with his family.
But Japanese-American internment is not just a West Coast story. It is also part of New Mexico history. Two of the internment camps were in New Mexico, in Santa Fe & Lordsburg. You can read more about Japanese Americans in New Mexico at the City of Albuquerque website & PBS also features an internment timeline as part of their Children of the Camps documentary.
Take advantage of the materials available at the library to learn more about this dark period in U.S. history.
For children & teens:
Silver Like Dust: One Family's Story of America's Japanese Internment by Kimi Cunningham Grant
I Am An American: A True Story of Japanese Internment by Jerry Stanley
The Journal of Ben Uchida, Citizen #13559, Mirror Lake Internment Camp by Barry Denenberg
Behind Barbed Wire: The Story of Japanese-American Internment During World War II by Lila Perl
Korematsu v. United States: Japanese-American Internment Camps by Karen Alonso
Impounded : Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment by Dorothea Lange
By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans by Greg Robinson
Toyo's Camera: Japanese American History During WWII (DVD)
The titles listed are just a sample - a subject search of "Japanese Americans - Evacuation and Relocation" lists more.