Order 9066

Jun 18, 2018

July 16, 17 and 18, 2018 at 1:00 pm

From APM Reports: In 1942, just months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. As a result, some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were forced from their homes on the West Coast and sent to one of ten “relocation” camps, where they were imprisoned behind barbed wire for the length of the war. Two-thirds of them were American citizens.

Order 9066, a new, three-episode series from APM Reports, chronicles the history of this incarceration through vivid, first-person accounts of those who lived through it. The series explores how this shocking violation of American democracy came to pass, and its legacy in the present.

Order 9066 covers the racist atmosphere of the time, the camps’ makeshift living quarters and the extraordinary ways people adapted; the fierce patriotism many Japanese Americans continued to feel and the ways they were divided against each other as they were forced to answer questions of loyalty; the movement for redress that eventually led to a formal apology from the US government; and much more.

Produced by Stephen Smith and Kate Ellis, this is the first major radio documentary series to chronicle this crucial and often overlooked period in American history.

Chapter One: Monday, July 16 - Listeners will hear about the wrenching process of leaving home for prison camp and the arrival at makeshift assembly centers — and how incarcerated people adapted to the harsh conditions and made the best of their situation by organizing schools, sports teams, art groups and newspapers.

Chapter Two: Tuesday, July 17  - From the beginning, there was resistance to incarceration. Many Japanese Americans in the camps fought for their rights as citizens, and the opposition grew over time. The War Relocation Authority tried to extract loyalty pledges from those incarcerated and enlist them for military service. This chapter chronicles the brave service of thousands of Japanese Americans, including the men of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which became one of the most decorated military units in the European Theater.

Chapter Three: Wednesday, July 18  - At war’s end, after the prison camps were shut down, many found they were unwelcome in their home communities. Many returned to discover that their property or land had been stolen. This chapter will feature people who flourished in post-war America, and those whose lives were destroyed by Order 9066. And listeners will hear about the long struggle by Japanese Americans to secure redress for the hardship and losses produced by incarceration.

Order 9066 is narrated by Sab Shimono and Pat Suzuki, veteran actors and stage performers who were both incarcerated at the Amache camp in Colorado.