Chronology of the Japanese American Internment


December 7 Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. Presidential Proclamation No. 2525 gives blanket authority to Attorney General for a sweep of suspects

December 8 Treasury Department seizes all Japanese banks and business

December 9 Many Japanese language schools closed.

December 11 FBI warns against possession of cameras or guns by suspected "enemy" aliens

December 27 Attorney General orders all suspected "enemy "aliens in West to surrender short wave radios and cameras

December 30 California revokes liquor license held by non-citizen Japanese.


January 1 Attorney General freezes travel by all suspected "enemy " aliens, orders surrender of weapons.

January 14 President Roosevelt orders re-registration of suspected "enemy" aliens in West.

January 27 Los Angeles City and County discharges all Japanese on civil service lists.

January 29 US Attorney General Francis Biddle issued the first of a series of orders establishing limited strategic areas along the Pacific Coast and requiring the removal of all suspected "enemy" aliens from these areas.

January 31 Attorney General establishes 59 additional prohibited zones in California to be cleared by February 15.

February 4 Attorney General establishes curfew zones in California to become effective February 4.

February 14 Lt. General J. DeWitt, Commanding General of the Western Defense Command, sends a memorandum to the Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson recommending the removal of "Japanese and other subversive persons" from the West Coast area.

February 19 President Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 9066, authorizing Secretary of War, or any military commander designated by Secretary to establish 'military areas' and exclude therefrom 'any or all persons'.

February 20 Secretary Stimson designated General DeWitt as military commander empowered to carry out an evacuation within his command under the terms of the Executive Order 9066.

March 2 General DeWitt issues Proclamation No. I, designating the Western half of the three Pacific Coast states and the southern third of Arizona as military areas and stipulating that all persons of Japanese descent would eventually be removed.

March 7 Army acquire Owens Valley Site for Manzanar temporary detention center.

March 11 General DeWitt establishes the Wartime Civil Control Administration (WCCA), with Colonel Karl R. Bendetsen as Director to carry out the internment plan.
March 16 Wartime Civil Control Administration establishes military area in Idaho, Montana, Utah and Nevada, designate 934 prohibited zone to be cleared.

March 18 President Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 9102 creating the War Relocation Authority to assist person evacuated by the military under Executive Order No. 9066. Milton S. Eisenhower was named Director.

March 20 WCCA acquires Santa Anita as a temporary detention center.

March 21 President Roosevelt signed Public Law 503 (77th Congress) making it a federal offense to violate any order issued by a designated military commander under authority of Executive Order No. 9066.

March 22 First large contingent of Japanese and Japanese Americans moved from Los Angeles to the Manzanar temporary detention center operated by the Army in the Owens Valley of California.

March 23 General DeWitt issues Civilian Exclusion Order No. 1 ordering the evacuation of all people of Japanese descent from Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound and their removal by March 30, to the Puyallup Army temporary detention center near Seattle.

March 24 Curfew for all aliens and Japanese proclaimed for military area 1 and other strategic areas in west effective March 27. WCCA acquires sites for temporary detention centers in California at Merced, Tulare, Marysville, and Fresno.

March 27 General DeWitt issued Proclamation No.4 (effective March 29) forbidding further voluntary migration of Japanese and Japanese Americans from the West Coast military areas.

April 3 First compulsory incarceration of Los Angeles Japanese to Santa Anita temporary detention center.

April 28 Seattle internees are sent to temporary detention center at Puyallup fairgrounds, called "Camp Harmony. "

April 28 132 Alaska internees are sent to Puyallup temporary detention center; later to Minidoka Internment camp.

May 8 The first contingent of internees arrives at the Colorado River Internment camp (Poston) near Parker, Arizona.

May 19 Western Defense Command issues Civilian Restriction Order No. 1 establishing all temporary detention centers in the eight far western states as military areas and forbidding residents to leave these areas without expressed approval of the Western Defense Command.

May 27 The first contingent of internees arrives at the Tule Lake Internment camp in Northern California, this group included 447 volunteers who came from Puyallup and Portland temporary detention centers.

June 1 The Manzanar Army temporary detention center was transferred from WCCA to WRA and converted to Manzanar Internment camp.

June 1-4 Internees arrive directly from rural Oregon and Washington to the Tule Lake prison.

June 2 General DeWitt issued Public Proclamation No.6 forbidding further voluntary migration of people of Japanese descent from the eastern half of California and simultaneously announce that all such people would eventually be removed from this area directly to Internment camps.

June 17 President Roosevelt appointed Dillon S. Myer to succeed Milton S. Eisenhower as Director of WRA

July 13 Mitsuye Endo petitions for a writ of habeas corpus stating that she was loyal and law abiding U. S. citizen, that no charge had been made against her, that she was being unlawfully detained, and she was confined in a internment camp under armed guard and held there against her will.

August 7 Western Defense Commander announced the completion of removal of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes.

August 10 Minidoka Internment camp near Twin Falls, Idaho receives the first contingent of internees from the Puyallup Army temporary detention center.

August 12 Heart Mountain Internment camp near Cody, Wyoming received its first group of internees from the Pomona Army temporary detention center.

August 15 Farm labor strike at Tule Lake Internment Camp.

August 27 The Granada Internment camp near La Mar, Colorado was opened with the arrival of a group from Merced temporary detention center.

September 11 The Central Utah internment camp, near Delta, Utah received its first group from Tanforan temporary detention center.

September 18 The Rohwer internment camp near McGhee, Arkansas received its first group of internees from the Stockton temporary detention center

October 6 The Jerome internment camp near Dermont, Arkansas--the last of the 10 centers--received a group of internees from the Fresno Temporary detention center.

November 3 The transfer of internees from temporary detention centers was completed with the arrival of the last group at Jerome internment camp from Fresno temporary detention center.


January 4 WRA field offices established in Chicago, Salt lake City, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Des Moines, New York City, Denver, Kansas City. and Boston.

January 23 Secretary of War Henry Stimson announced plans to form an all-Japanese American Combat team to be made up of volunteers from both the mainland and Hawaii.

February 8 Registration (loyalty questionnaire) of all persons over 17 years of age for Army recruitment, segregation and relocation begins at most of the internment camps.

May 6 Ms Eleanor Roosevelt spent a day at the Gila River Internment camp.

June 21 Hirabayashi v U.S. and Yasui v U.S : The Supreme Court rules that a curfew may be imposed against one group of Americans citizens based solely on ancestry and that Congress in enacting Public law 77-503 authorized the implementation of Executive Order 9066 and provided criminal penalties for violation of orders of the Military Commander.


February 16 President Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 9423 transferring WRA to the Department of the Interior.

May The all-Japanese American 442 Regimental Combat Team (RCT) sent to the Italian front.

June 6 D-Day

June 30 Jerome Internment camp closed. the remaining personnel transferred to Amache, Granada, Colorado and Rohwer, Arkansas.

December 17 The War Department announced the revocation (effective on January 2, 1945) of the West Coast mass exclusion orders which had been in effect against people of Japanese descent since the spring of 1942

December 18 The WRA announced that all internment camps would be closed before the end of 1945 and the entire WRA program would be liquidated on June 30, 1946.

December 18 Korematsu v U.S.: the U.S. Supreme Court rules that one group of citizens may be singled out and expelled from their homes and imprisoned for several years without trial, based solely on their ancestry.

December 18 In ex parte Endo, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that WRA has no authority to detain a "concededly loyal" American citizen.


April 29 442--All Japanese American Regiment frees prisoners at Dachau Concentration Camps.

August 15 V-J Day

September Western Defense Command issues Public Proclamation No. 24 revoking all individual exclusion orders and all further military restrictions against persons of Japanese descent.

Oct 15- Dec 15 All WRA Internment camps are closed except for Tule Lake Center


March 20 Tule Lake Segregation Center closed

June 30 War Relocation Authority program officially terminates.

October 30 Crystal City Detention Center, Texas operated by the Justice Department releases last Japanese (North. Central and South ) Americans. The closing of the Japanese American Internment Program.


July 2 Evacuation Claims Act passed, giving internees until January 3.1950 to file claims against the government for damages to or loss of real or personal property consequence of the evacuation. Total of $31 million paid by the government for property lost by internees-- equaling less than 10 cents per dollar lost.


February 19 President Gerald Ford formally rescinds Executive Order No. 9066.


June 23 Report of the Commission of Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC), entitled Personal Justice Denied, concludes that exclusion, expulsion and incarceration were not justified by military necessity, and the decisions to do so were based on race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.

October 4 In response to a petition for a writ of error coram nobis by Fred Korematsu, the Federal District Court of San Francisco reverses his 1942 conviction and rules that the internment was not justified.


November 2 President George Bush signed Public law 101-162 which guarantees fund for reparation payments to the WW II internment survivors beginning in October of 1990. For the Japanese American community. it marks a victorious end to a long struggle for justice. For the nation, the President signature reaffirms the country's commitment to equal justice under the law.