Today in History: Executive Order 9066 and Heart Mountain Internment Camp



Line sketch drawing of people loading suitcases and other items onto a truck.
Japanese-Americans leaving their homes. Sketch by Estelle Ishigo, from the American Heritage Center.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. This event led to the internment of thousands of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

The order cited the necessity for “every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage.” It authorized military commanders to designate any area in the United States from which “any or all persons may be excluded” at their discretion.

See the executive order here.

Under the order, the U.S. relocated approximately 120,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast and held them in American concentration camps across the country. One of those was Heart Mountain Internment Camp near Cody, Wyoming.

The Wyoming State Library has created an online exhibit providing a vast amount of information about life in the camp, gleaned from the Heart Mountain Sentinel. Six thousand Heart Mountain households, as well as subscribers outside of the camp, received the Sentinel each week.

Read the Heart Mountain Sentinel online in the Wyoming Newspaper Digital Collection.

For more information, please contact Chris Van Burgh, Wyoming State Library Database Instruction Librarian, chris.vanburgh@wyo.gov.

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