Eighty years ago today, then-President Franklin Roosevelt signed the executive order that led to the forced removal and mass incarceration of about 120,000 Japanese Americans into 10 American internment camps.
Why it matters: Powerful archival photos of the mass incarceration provide a vivid reminder of how badly the U.S. government mistreated Japanese Americans.
Survivors and activists have also pushed Congress to help preserve this history by designating one of the former prisons — Amache, in Granada, Colorado — as a national memorial.
Some people were given only six days notice to pack up their belongings and leave their homes and communities.
After decades of organizing by survivors and their families, Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act in 1988, which gave surviving internees $20,000 and a presidential apology as reparations for the wrongful incarceration — though many elders had died by then.
Editor's note: A caption in this story has been corrected to show the date the sign was placed in the window was Dec. 8, 1941, not 1942.