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"Americans With The Wrong Ancestors"
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This article was written by Clara Estelle Breed (1909-1994), a librarian in the San Diego Library System. She courageously supported the Japanese-Americans ordered relocated in February, 1942 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt through Executive Order 9066. More than 100,000 were moved into internment camps that were usually located in the desert Southwest. The Supreme Court affirmed the order in Korematsu vs. United States in 1944, arguing that it was legal due to "military necessity," a decision that has been much criticized. Congress attempted to make amends in 1988 with the Civil Liberties Act, which formally apologized and offered those still alive $20,000 compensation. Despite the violation of their rights, young Japanese-Americans accepted a wartime draft that placed them in the military. Only several hundred refused to serve from the tens of thousands drafted. The 442nd Infantry Regiment, composed of Japanese-Americans, became the most decorated unit in American military history. Despite her controversial views, Clara Breed was named Interim Head of the library in 1945.
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