Exclusion and Internment - Exclusion Order No. 1 and Preparing to Leave
On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, allowing for the creation of areas from which "any and all persons may be excluded." His action was unanimously authorized by Congress. FDR designated Lieutenant General J.L. DeWitt as the commander of such areas, thus transferring civilian control from the Justice Department to the army. On March 2, DeWitt issued Public Proclamation No. 1, defining the western portions of Washington, Oregon, and California, and parts of Arizona as areas " with respect to which, the right of any persons to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions" he might impose. DeWitt had initially allowed families to "voluntarily" move east of the Cascade Mountains. Only three Bainbridge Island families had finalized plans when DeWitt suddenly revoked permission three weeks after the program began. On March 24, Civil Exclusion Order No. 1 was issued, designating Bainbridge Island as the first area from which American citizens and their alien parents would be forced to leave. Islanders were allowed six days to prepare. With the help of neighbors Nikkei families made whatever arrangements they could for their homes, farms, businesses, pets, and belongings.
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SLIDESHOW — A collection of artifacts and photos
Oral History Clip (OH0007 – Michi Noritake) 3:00 — Help from Friends of Alliance church
Oral History Clip (OH0014 – Vic Takemoto) 3:03 — Family prepares to leave
Oral History Clip (OH0018 – Kay Nakao) 4:42 — New home, destroyed Japanese things
Oral History Clip (OH0019 – Kay Nakao) 3:29 — Chaos, storage and loss, packing and what to wear
Oral History Clip (OH0035 – Yae Yoshihara) 3:36 — JACL meetings, preparing to leave, arrangements for house and farm
Oral History Clip (OH0043 – Frank Kitamoto) 3:57 — Why BI first, why cooperated
Oral History Clip (OH0051 – Hisa Matsudaira) 1:40 — Shigata ga nai or "it cannot be helped"
Oral History Clip (OH0053 – Nobi Omoto) 2:09 — Moneybelts
Oral History Clip (OH0055 – Lilly Kodama) 2:21 — Help from Filipino friends
Oral History Clip (OH0062 – Matsue Watanabe) 2:33 — Registering
Oral History Clip (OH0063 – Matsue Watanabe) 2:44 — Packing and what students think
Oral History Clip (OH0075 – Sally Kitano) 0:56 — Had to leave doll behind
Oral History Clip (OH0085 – Mary Woodward) 2:48 — Walt gives advice to some Nisei
Oral History Clip (OH0092 – Sada Omoto) 2:15 — What if Niseis said, "No, we won't go"
Posting Civilian Exclusion Order No. 1 — When army soldiers arrived via ferry to post notices of Exclusion Order Number One, several Nisei or second generation men arrived to help show the soldiers where the posters should be placed so they would be most visible. Left to right: Unknown soldier, possible young issei, Takashi Sakuma, Robert Koba, George Chihara. Bainbridge Island, WA March 24, 1942. Seattle PI photo N331. Library of Congress