By SONJA DECHIAN
February 19 marked the 70th anniversary of US President Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066 in 1942, which cleared the way for the relocation of Japanese-Americans to internment camps.
An estimated 120,000 ethnic Japanese, most of them US citizens, were rounded up by the military and interned in camps, leaving behind homes, businesses and land. The government feared Japan’s next move might be to attack the US West Coast, and that the large community of Japanese-Americans living there might act as spies or collaborators. Once freed, many returned home to find that they had lost their properties and livelihoods. The camps remain a controversial chapter in US history.