Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich announced that Los Angeles County has proclaimed Feb. 19, 2012, as a Day of Remembrance for Japanese-Americans interned during World War II.
On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 incarcerating all 120,000 Japanese-Americans and legal residents following Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. While the order also authorized the selective incarceration of some citizens of German and Italian descent, it forcibly relocated all citizens and legal residents of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast of the United States.
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation apologizing for President Roosevelt’s internment on behalf of the U.S. government, stating that the order was based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.” More than $1.6 billion in reparations was dispersed to those who had been interned.
“Los Angeles County, home to one of the largest populations of Japanese-Americans in the nation, has benefited economically and culturally in the fields of business, agriculture, academia, medicine, government and the arts from the many contributions of the Japanese-American community,” said Antonovich.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ “Day of Remembrance” motion was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors today.