War Relocation Authority Essay

1483 Words 6 Pages
December 7, 1941 had changed so many people’s lives, especially the lives of Japanese Americans. After the U.S. was attacked by Japan anyone who looked like the enemy became the enemy. Multiple rash decisions were made out of paranoia and fear, one in particular being the issuing of Executive Order 9066. E.O. 9066 was issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, just two months after Pearl Harbor was attacked. This order gave the Secretary of War authorization to be able to designate any place in the country as a military zone. As long as they provided “transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary,” the military could relocate anyone they wanted who had lived in these new military zones (Exec. …show more content…
Under the authority of the government the WRA had to choose where to place these new relocation camps, there were many guide lines they had to follow while choosing locations. Milton Eisenhower was the WRA’s top administer, he had only wanted to create Japanese American communities across the country, although that plan was quickly shut down by state governors threatening to hurt or kill any Japanese Americans put into their states. Eisenhower’s next idea was to make work camps similar to those President Roosevelt had made during the Great Depression in 1930, that way Japanese Americans had a chance to make products to help in the war and “ gain admiration of their fellow Americans,” while at the same time getting paid for their work (Wukovits 51). This idea became hard to put into action when the government had put so many restrictions on the location for these camps. This left only places where others refused to live, such as swamp lands, deserts, and other harsh locations that were impossible to farm on. Only one out of the ten camps was fit for farming, Tule Lake, it had been placed on a dried up lake bed where the soil was very rich. The internment camps were one step above a prison at the time. They were surrounded by barbed-wire fences and huge guard towers occupied by armed guards, what’s so questionable …show more content…
The bathrooms were separate from the barracks; each block of twelve to fourteen barracks had their own bathroom facility, mess hall, laundry, and recreation hall (Wukovits 53). Inside the barracks they were dived into sections, each section had one to two families living in them depending on the size of the families. In these “apartments” there was minimal furniture and space for the families, there were canvas cots and straw stuffed mattresses for each person, a small heating stove, and single lightbulb hanging from the ceiling. To make their apartments more home like, internees would go out and collect whatever scraps they could find to make furniture and shelves. They hung curtains from old clothe and made pictures to hang on the walls. Japanese Americans did anything they possibly could to try and make the situation a little less awful. They was no privacy for the Japanese Americans in these internment camps, toilets sat back-to-back and side-by-side, the showers were along one wall with no dividers. The only separations when it came to the toilet and shower facilities were there would be one for women and one for men. Administrative staff’s family housing was much more luxurious compared to the internees housing. They had “larger, better-furnished apartments that included cooling systems, refrigerators, and indoor toilets and baths,” (Wukovits

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