by Benjamin Nakamura, La Sierra University

This webquest gives students an opportunity to learn about a relatively unknown yet important socio-historical event in California history--the largest forced migration in US history--the internment of multiplied thousands of Japanese-Americans during World War II.


On December 7, 1941 Japanese forces attacked the United States military base Pearl Harbor, which is located in Hawaii. Just several hundred miles inland in the state of California, thousands of Americans of Japanese descent farm, fish, conduct business, and permanently reside. Many Americans feared that these Japanese Americans would take sides with the enemy. There already existed much racism and prejudice towards the Japanese, but now many felt that they had good reason to take action against them.


In February 1942, president Franklin Roosevelt  signed executive order 9066 that required all people of Japanese descent—US citizen or not—to be relocated from their homes and moved into concentration camps. You belong to one of those families. You are part of the greatest forced migration in American history. You are now being mandated by the United States Government to evacuate your home, sell all your assets, and move to an unknown territory for an unstated period of time…