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A Perfect Marriage--The Common Core and Historical Investigations: Japanese-American Internment Bruce A. Lesh Franklin High School Reisterstown, Maryland
Reading Standards for History/Social Studies ØKnowledge of domain-specific vocabulary ØAnalyze, evaluate, and differentiate primary and secondary sources ØSynthesize quantitative and technical information, including facts presented in maps, timelines, flowcharts, or diagrams ØIntentional and explicit instruction for students as they interact with disciplinespecific text
Source Work/Historical Literacy Text: What is visible/readable--what information is provided by the source? Context: What was going on during the time period? What background information do you have that helps explain the information found in the source? Subtext: What is between the lines? Must ask questions about: • Author: Who created the source and what do we know about that person? • Audience: For whom was the source created? • Reason: Why was this source produced at the time it was produced?
Reading Strategies and Historical Sources Sourcing: When a reader thinks about a document’s author and why the document was created. Contextualizing: When a reader situates a document and its content in place and time. Corroborating: When a reader asks questions about important details across multiple source to determine points of agreement and disagreement. http: //historicalthinkingmatters. org/why. php
Writing Standards for History/Social Studies Ø Write arguments on discipline-specific content and informative/explanatory texts Ø Make arguments or claims and support those with the use of data, evidence, and reason Ø Apply domain-specific vocabulary through writing exercises unique to each discipline Ø Expect students to compose arguments and opinions, informative/explanatory pieces, and narrative texts Ø Focus on the use of reason and evidence to substantiate an argument or claim Ø Emphasize ability to conduct research – short projects and sustained inquiry
Elements of a History Lab • A central question that does not have one answer. • Source work—Historical sources are evaluated and the information gained is applied to the development of an answer to the lab’s central question. • The employment of literacy skills to evaluate historical sources. • The development, refinement, and defense of an evidence-based answer to the guiding historical question
“Hindsight is 20 -20” What does this phrase mean?
Executive Order 9066 37, 000 Issei. First Generation Japanese Americans 75, 000 Nisei— Second Generation Japanese Americans
http: //www. pbs. org/t hewar/detail_5089. ht m
Hirabayashi v. United States (1943): “ Korematsu v. United States (1944)
Why? • • Military Necessity Racism Prevent sabotage/espionage Revenge Military necessity Fear To protect the Japanese Other
Source Context and Subtext A: Lt. Gen. J. L. De. Witt, Was a veteran of the Philippine Insurrection, the Mexican Border service, and World War I. After the war, most of his Commander of the West Coast service was involved with supply matters. In 1930, he was appointed Quartermaster General of the Army (head of Army Area, letter to the Chief of supply), and later was commandant of the Army War College and in 1939 took command of the Fourth Army and the Staff, U. S. Army, June 5, 1943, of Western Defense Command. Between March 1941 and September 1943, he commanded the Western Defense Area his Final Report; Japanese (the Western portion of the United States). Evacuation from the West Coast 1942. B: The political cartoon “Waiting One of many cartoons produced by Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) between the years 1941 -1943 as chief editorial for the Signal from Home…” cartoonist for the PM Newspaper. The cartoon depicts common propaganda feelings about individuals of Japanese ancestry living in the United States after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Geisel was opposed to the internment of the Japanese. C: “Their Best Way to Show The San Francisco News carried almost daily reports of FBI and police sweeps, and the various proclamations and Loyalty” plans regarding the removal of Japanese Americans. Some news articles were approved by military censors before The San Francisco News publication. In addition, every newspaper editor was excessively careful about printing information of potential use March 6, 1942 to the enemy. An Editorial and cartoon D: The Munson Report In the fall of 1941 President Roosevelt assigned Curtis B. Munson to go to the West Coast and Hawaii to determine the degree of loyalty to be found among the residents of Japanese descent. Munson interviewed Army and United States Marines, intelligence officers, military commanders, city officials, and the FBI. His report was circulated to several Cabinet officials, and on January 9, 1942, a copy was sent to President Roosevelt, along with a memo stating that War Department officials had carefully studied the document. It is unknown whether the president read the report, the memo, or neither. E: The Ringle Report was drafted by the Office of Naval Intelligence, in order to justify the Roosevelt administration in the cases of Hirabayashi v. United States and Korematsu v. United States. F: May 2011, U. S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal, after a year of investigation made the following public statement about the Ringle Report. During World War Two the United States Supreme Court heard two cases related to the Internment of Japanese Americans. In Hirabayashi v. United States (1943), the court held that the restrictions placed on Japanese Americans and resident aliens of Japan served a military and national security interest, and the Court viewed the curfew as a necessary “protective measure. . . in time of war. ” In Korematsu v. United States (1944) the court held that the government was permitted to deny the Japanese their constitutional rights because of military considerations, because a number of Japanese may have been disloyal, the military felt that complete exclusion of persons of Japanese ancestry from certain areas was essential during wartime, and that such exclusion was not beyond the war powers of Congress and the President since their interest in national security was “compelling. ” In 2011, the United States Justice department announced that the report was intentionally withheld from the lawyers representing the United States government in the two cases before the Supreme Court.
Source A: This is a portion of Lt. Gen. J. L. De. Witt’s, Commander of the West Coast Army Area, letter of transmittal to the Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, June 5, 1943, of his Final Report; Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast 1942. Lt. General De Witt was a veteran of the Philippine Insurrection, the Mexican Border service, and World War I. After the war, most of his service was involved with supply matters. In 1930, he was appointed Quartermaster General of the Army (head of supply), and later was commandant of the Army War College and in 1939 took command of the Fourth Army and the Western Defense Command. Between March 1941 and September 1943, he commanded the Western Defense Area (the Western portion of the United States). 1. I transmit herewith my final report on the evacuation of Japanese from the Pacific Coast. 2. The evacuation was impelled by military necessity. The security of the Pacific Coast continues to require the exclusion of Japanese from the area now prohibited to them and will so continue as long as that military necessity exists. The surprise attack at Pearl Harbor by the enemy crippled a major portion of the Pacific Fleet and exposed the West Coast to an attack which could not have been substantially impeded by defensive fleet operations. More than 115, 000 persons of Japanese ancestry resided along the coast and were significantly concentrated near many highly sensitive installations essential to the war effort. Intelligence services records reflected the existence of hundreds of Japanese organizations in California, Washington, Oregon and Arizona which, prior to December 7, 1941, were actively engaged in advancing Japanese war aims. These records also disclosed that thousands of American-born Japanese had gone to Japan to receive their education and indoctrination there and had become rabidly pro-Japanese and then had returned to the United States. Emperor-worshipping ceremonies were commonly held and millions of dollars had flowed into the Japanese imperial war chest from the contributions freely made by Japanese here. The continued presence of a large, unassimilated, tightly knit and racial group, bound to an enemy nation by strong ties of race, culture, custom and religion along a frontier vulnerable to attack constituted a menace which had to be dealt with. Their loyalties were unknown and time was of the essence. The evident aspirations of the enemy emboldened by his recent successes made it worse than folly to have left any stone unturned in the building up of our defenses. It is better to have had this protection and not to have needed it than to have needed it and not to have had it – as we have learned to our sorrow. From: http: //www. sfmuseum. org/war/dewitt 0. html
Source C: “Their Best Way to Show Loyalty” An Editorial in the San Francisco News March 6, 1942 The San Francisco News carried almost daily reports of FBI and police sweeps, and the various proclamations and plans regarding the removal of Japanese Americans. Some news articles were approved by military censors before publication. In addition, every newspaper editor was excessively careful about printing information of potential use to the enemy. Japanese leaders in California who are counseling their people, both aliens and native-born, to co-operate with the Army in carrying out the evacuation plans are, in effect, offering the best possible way for all Japanese to demonstrate their loyalty to the United States. Many aliens and practically all the native-born have been protesting their allegiance to this Government. Although their removal to inland districts outside the military zones may inconvenience them somewhat, even work serious hardships upon some, they must certainly recognize the necessity of clearing the coastal combat areas of all possible fifth columnists and saboteurs. Inasmuch as the presence of enemy agents cannot be detected readily when these areas are thronged by Japanese the only course left is to remove all persons of that race for the duration of the war. That is a clear-cut policy easily understood. Its execution should be supported by all citizens of whatever racial background, but especially it presents an opportunity to the people of an enemy race to prove their spirit of co-operation and keep their relations with the rest of the population of this country on the firm ground of friendship. Every indication has been given that the transfer will be made with the least possible hardship. General De. Witt’s order was issued in such a way as to give those who can make private moving arrangements plenty of time to do so. All others will not be moved until arrangements can be made for places for them to go. They may have to be housed in temporary quarters until permanent ones can be provided for them, but during the summer months that does not mean they will be unduly uncomfortable. Their property will be carefully protected by the Federal Government, their food and shelter will be provided to the extent they are not able to provide it for themselves, and they will be furnished plenty of entertainment and recreation. That is not according to the pattern of the European concentration camp by any means. Real danger would exist for all Japanese if they remained in the combat area. The least act of sabotage might provoke angry reprisals that easily could balloon into bloody race riots. We must avoid any chance of that sort of thing. The most sensible, the most humane way to insure against it is to move the Japanese out of harm’s way and make it as easy as possible for them to go and to remain away until the war is over.
Source D: The Munson Report In the fall of 1941 President Roosevelt assigned Curtis B. Munson to go to the West Coast and Hawaii to determine the degree of loyalty to be found among the residents of Japanese descent. Munson interviewed Army and United States Marines intelligence officers, military commanders, city officials, and the FBI. His report was circulated to several Cabinet officials, and on January 9, 1942, a copy was sent to President Roosevelt, along with a memo stating that War Department officials had carefully studied the document. It is unknown whether the president read the report, the memo, or neither. 1. The ISSEI -- First generation of Japanese…have made this their home. They have brought up children here, their wealth accumulated by hard labor is here, and many would have become American citizens had they been allowed to do so…The Issei, or first generation, is considerably weakened in their loyalty to Japan by the fact that they have chosen to make this their home and have brought up their children here. They expect to die here. They are quite fearful of being put in a concentration camp. Many would take out American citizenship if allowed to do so…They are also still legally Japanese. Yet they do break, and send their boys off to the Army with pride and tears. They are good neighbors… 2. The NISEI -- Second generation who have received their whole education in the United States and usually, in spite of discrimination against them and a certain amount of insults accumulated through the years from irresponsible elements, show a pathetic eagerness to be Americans. They are in constant conflict with the orthodox, well disciplined family life of their elders…The Nisei are pathetically eager to show this loyalty. They are not Japanese in culture. They are foreigners to Japan. Though American citizens they are not accepted by Americans, largely because they look differently and can be easily recognized… 3. The KIBEI -- This is an important division of the NISEI. This is the term used by the Japanese to signify those American born Japanese who received part or all of their education in Japan…It must be noted, however, that many of those who visited Japan subsequent to their early American education come back with added loyalty to the United States. In fact it is a saying that all a Nisei needs is a trip to Japan to make a loyal American out of him. The American educated Japanese is a boor in Japan and treated as a foreigner. . . the Hawaiian Japanese does not suffer from the same inferiority complex or feel the same mistrust of the whites that he does on the mainland. While it is seldom on the mainland that you find even a college-educated Japanese-American citizen who talks to you wholly openly until you have gained his confidence, this is far from the case in Hawaii. Many young Japanese there are fully as open and frank and at ease with a white as white boys are. In a word, Hawaii is more of a melting pot because there are more brown skins to melt -- Japanese, Hawaiian, Chinese and Filipino. It is interesting to note that there has been absolutely no bad feeling between the Japanese and the Chinese in the islands due to the Japanese-Chinese war. Why should they be any worse toward us? Due to the preponderance of Japanese in the population of the Islands, a much greater proportion of Japanese have been called to the draft than on the mainland. As on the mainland they are inclined to enlist before being drafted. The Army is extremely high in its praise of them as recruits. . . They are beginning to feel that they are going to get a square deal and some of them are really almost pathetically exuberant…. The story was all the same. There is no Japanese `problem' on the Coast. There will be no armed uprising of Japanese. There will undoubtedly be some sabotage financed by Japan and executed largely by imported agents. . . In each Naval District there about 250 to 300 suspects under surveillance. It is easy to get on the suspect list, merely a speech in favor of Japan at some banquet being sufficient to land one there. The Intelligence Services are generous with the title of suspect and are taking no chances. Privately, they believe that only 50 or 60 in each district can be classed as really dangerous. The Japanese are hampered as saboteurs because of their easily recognized physical appearance. It will be hard for them to get near anything to blow up if it is guarded. There is far more danger from Communists and people of the Bridges type on the Coast than there is from Japanese. The Japanese here is almost exclusively a farmer, a fisherman or a small businessman. He has no entree to plants or intricate machinery. In case we have not made it apparent, the aim of this report is that all Japanese Nationals in the continental United States and property owned and operated by them within the country be immediately placed under absolute Federal control. The aim of this will be to squeeze control from the hands of the Japanese Nationals into the hands of the loyal Nisei who are American citizens. . . It is the aim that the Nisei should police themselves, and as a result police their parents. From: http: //www. digitalhistory. uh. edu/learning_history/japanese_internment/munson_report. cfm
Source F: Confession of Error: The Solicitor General’s Mistakes During the Japanese-American Internment Cases During World War Two the United States Supreme Court heard two cases related to the Internment of Japanese Americans. In Hirabayashi v. United States (1943), the court held that the restrictions placed on Japanese Americans and resident aliens of Japan served a military and national security interest, and the Court viewed the curfew as a necessary “protective measure. . . in time of war. ” In Korematsu v. United States (1944) the court held that the government was permitted to deny the Japanese their constitutional rights because of military considerations, because a number of Japanese may have been disloyal, the military felt that complete exclusion of persons of Japanese ancestry from certain areas was essential during wartime, and that such exclusion was not beyond the war powers of Congress and the President since their interest in national security was “compelling. ” In 2011, the United States Justice department announced that: May 20 th, 2011 Posted by Tracy Russo The following post appears courtesy of Neal Katyal, Acting Solicitor General of the United States It has been my privilege to have served as Acting Solicitor General for the past year and to have served as Principal Deputy Solicitor General before that. The Solicitor General is responsible for overseeing appellate litigation on behalf of the United States, and with representing the United States in the Supreme Court. There are several terrific accounts of the roles that Solicitors General have played throughout history in advancing civil rights. But it is also important to remember the mistakes. One episode of particular relevance to AAPI Heritage Month is the Solicitor General’s defense of the forced relocation and internment of Japanese-American during World War II. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States uprooted more than 100, 000 people of Japanese descent, most of them American citizens, and confined them in internment camps. The Solicitor General was largely responsible for the defense of those policies. By the time the cases of Gordon Hirabayashi and Fred Korematsu reached the Supreme Court, the Solicitor General had learned of a key intelligence report that undermined the rationale behind the internment. The Ringle Report, from the Office of Naval Intelligence, found that only a small percentage of Japanese Americans posed a potential security threat, and that the most dangerous were already known or in custody. But the Solicitor General did not inform the Court of the report, despite warnings from Department of Justice attorneys that failing to alert the Court “might approximate the suppression of evidence. ” Instead, he argued that it was impossible to segregate loyal Japanese Americans from disloyal ones. Nor did he inform the Court that a key set of allegations used to justify the internment, that Japanese Americans were using radio transmitters to communicate with enemy submarines off the West Coast, had been discredited by the FBI and FCC. And to make matters worse, he relied on gross generalizations about Japanese Americans, such as that they were disloyal and motivated by “racial solidarity. ” The Supreme Court upheld Hirabayashi’s and Korematsu’s convictions. And it took nearly a half century for courts to overturn these decisions. One court decision in the 1980 s that did so highlighted the role played by the Solicitor General, emphasizing that the Supreme Court gave “special credence” to the Solicitor General’s representations. The court thought it unlikely that the Supreme Court would have ruled the same way had the Solicitor General exhibited complete candor. Yet those decisions still stand today as a reminder of the mistakes of that era. Today, our Office takes this history as an important reminder that the “special credence” the Solicitor General enjoys before the Supreme Court requires great responsibility and a duty of absolute candor in our representations to the Court. Only then can we fulfill our responsibility to defend the United States and its Constitution, and to protect the rights of all Americans.
Source E: The Ringle Report was drafted by the Office of Naval Intelligence, in order to justify the Roosevelt administration in the cases of Hirabayashi v. United States and Korematsu v. United States. From: Lieutenant Commander K. D. RINGLE, USN. To: The Chief of Naval Operations. Via: The Commandant, Eleventh Naval District. Subject: Japanese Question, Report on. The following opinions, amplified in succeeding paragraphs, are held by the writer: (a) That within the last eight or ten years the entire "Japanese question" in the United States has reversed itself. The alien menace is no longer paramount, and is becoming of less importance almost daily, as the original alien immigrants grow older and die, and as more and more of their American-born children reach maturity. The primary present and future problem is that of dealing with these of whom it is considered that least seventy-five percent are loyal to the United States. The ratio of these American citizens of Japanese ancestry to alien-born Japanese in the United States is at present almost 3 to 1, and rapidly increasing. (b) That of the Japanese-born alien residents, the large majority are at least passively loyal to the United States. That is, they would knowingly do nothing whatever to the injury of the United States, but at the same time would not do anything to the injury of Japan. Also, most might well do surreptitious observation work for Japanese interests if given a convenient opportunity. (c) That, however, there among the Japanese both alien and United States citizens, certain individuals, either deliberately placed by the Japanese government or actuated by a fanatical loyalty to that country who would act as saboteurs or agents. This number is estimated to be less than three per cent of the total, or about 300 in the entire United States. (f) That in spite of paragraph (c) above, the most potentially dangerous element of all are those American citizens of Japanese ancestry who have spent the formative years of their lives, from 10 to 20, in Japan and have returned to the United States to claim their legal American citizenship within the last few years. These people are essentially and inherently Japanese and may have been deliberately sent back to the United States by the Japanese government to act as agents. In spite of their legal citizenship and the protection afforded them by the Bill of Rights, they should be looked upon as enemy aliens and many of them placed in custodial detention. This group numbers between 600 and 700 in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and at least that many in other parts of Southern California. (h) That, in short, the entire "Japanese Problem" has been magnified out of its true proportion, largely because of the physical characteristics of the people; that it is no more serious that the problems of the German, Italian, and Communistic portions of the United States population, and, finally that it should be handled on the basis of the individual, regardless of citizenship, and not on a racial basis. (i) That the above opinions are and will continue to be true just so long as these people, Issei and Nisei, are given an opportunity to be self-supporting, but that if conditions continue in the trend they appear to be taking as of this date; i. e. , loss of employment and income due to anti-Japanese agitation by and among Caucasian Americans, continued personal attacks by Filipinos and other racial groups, denial of relief funds to desperately needy cases, cancellation of licenses for markets, produce houses, stores, etc. , by California State authorities, discharges from jobs by the wholesale, unnecessarily harsh restrictions on travel, including discriminatory regulations against all Nisei preventing them from engaging in commercial fishing--there will most certainly be outbreaks of sabotage, riots, and other civil strife in the not too . distant future
Anti-Japanese Legislation 1889 -1924 Washington State Constitution, 1889 The prohibition of alien land ownership was included in the original 1889 version of the Washington State constitution. This was not true of the constitutions of other western states with significant alien populations. The primary reason for the alien land article was that the Washington constitution (unlike states that predated Washington) was enacted after the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. Article II, Section 33 - “OWNERSHIP OF LANDS BY ALIENS, PROHIBITED - Exceptions - The ownership of lands by aliens, other than those who in good faith have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, is prohibited in this state, except where acquired by inheritance, under mortgage or in good faith in the ordinary course of justice in the collection of debts; and all conveyances of lands hereafter made to any alien directly or in trust for such alien shall be void: Provided, That the provisions of this Section shall not apply to lands containing valuable deposits of minerals, metals, iron, coal, or fire-clay, and the necessary land for mills and machinery to be used in the development thereof and the manufacture of the products therefrom. Every corporation, the majority of the capital stock of which is owned by aliens, shall be considered on alien for the purposes of this prohibition. ” Immigration Act of Feb 20, 1907 This federal legislation created new categories of immigrants that would be denied entry to the United States. Most relevant to the Japanese was the exclusion of people designated as contract laborers. The act also allowed President Theodore Roosevelt to deny entry to United States from Canada, Mexico, and Hawaii (an opportunity taken by Roosevelt on March 14, 1907). Until the 1907 act, many Japanese laborers were coming to the United States via these countries. Gentlemen’s Agreement, 1908 Theodore Roosevelt’s presidential order of March 14, 1907 had stemmed the flow of Japanese immigration from Canada, Mexico, and Hawaii. The Gentlemen’s Agreement was an unofficial and undocumented treaty that confronted direct immigration. Japan was to issue passports only to those who had previously been admitted to the United States. The Gentlemen’s Agreement did allow for Japanese men living in the United States to send for their wives and children in Japan. Immigration Act of Feb 5, 1917 To further restrict Japanese and general Asian immigration, the 1917 act contained two key elements. One was the addition of a literacy test which stated that any person over sixteen years of age had to be literate in some language in order to enter the United States. The other was a major shift to a Caucasian only immigration policy. The 1917 act created a “barred zone” in Southeast Asia. “The barred zone roughly included parts of China, all of India, Burma, Siam, the Malay States, the Asian part of Russia, part of Arabia, part of Afghanistan, most of the Polynesian Islands and the East Indian Islands. ” Washington State House Bill Number 79: January 27, 1921 During the seventeenth regular session, the Washington State House of Representatives added to the constitutional alien land restrictions. The new legislation extended the alien land laws beyond ownership to limit leasing and renting. The bill also made it a crime for anyone to sell land to an alien, hold land in trust or fail to report alien land use violations to the State Attorney General or local prosecutor. Immigration Act of May 19, 1921 The 1921 Immigration Act was the first to include any quantitative restrictions on immigration. The Asian “barred zone” was upheld, but all other immigration was limited to three percent of the foreign-born population of any given group in the United States at the time of the 1910 census Washington State House Bill Number 70: January 26, 1923 The principal way Japanese and other resident aliens circumvented land laws was to have a minor child with birth-right citizenship hold that land deed. The 1923 House Bill ended this practice by declaring land owned by a minor child to be held in trust for an alien (illegal under the 1921 Bill). This heavily restrictive alien land law stayed in effect until its repeal in 1965. Immigration Act of May 26, 1924 Continuing the trend of restriction, the 1924 Immigration Act used a stricter quota system to further reduce the number of admitted immigrants. While three percent quota stayed the same, the figures were calculated from the 1890 census. As a result, the total quota number for all immigrants was cut by more than half to approximately 165, 000 people. A key section of the 1924 Act denied immigration to persons ineligible for naturalization. Because Japanese immigrants were not among those who could become citizens virtually all Asiatic immigration had been ended moderation.
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