Executive Order 9066

On February 19th 1942 FDR signed Executive order 9066 requiring the relocation and internment of all California coastal residents of Japanese descent. Historian Jim Gregory, author of WWII Arroyo Grande shares the sorrows and triumphs of the dramatic period in Arroyo Grande history—a time when more than forty percent of the high school student body was of Japanese ancestry.

Japantown, located in downtown San Jose has been a vital part of Santa Clara Valley’s history since the 1890s. The insular Japantown neighborhood provided the Japanese with a safe-harbor place to shop and socialize. Within two months of the onset of WWII, Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 forced all Japanese to pack their bags and relocate to internment camps far from the Pacific Coast. A conversation with Japantown resident, 94 year-0ld Jimi Yamaichi recalls when he and his family were ordered to report to the San Jose State University Gymnasium and life in the internment camp.