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LOST YEARS: The Internment of Japanese-Americans. Second of two parts.

February 17, 1992|Times staff writer Dean Takahashi

1941 December 7: Japan attacks Pearl Harbor.

December 8: FBI begins mass arrests of a list of 1,370 suspected enemy aliens classified as dangerous.

1942 February 19: Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, giving the secretary of war the authority to establish military areas "from which any or all persons may be excluded as deemed necessary or desirable."

March 2: Gen. John L. DeWitt declares western half of California, Oregon, Washington and southern Arizona as military areas from which all people of Japanese ancestry are to be removed.

1944 December 18: In a ruling on the convictions of a third internee who resisted evacuation, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of the internment. In a separate ruling on a fourth internee's appeal, the court says military necessity no longer justifies exclusion of Japanese-Americans from the West Coast.

1945 January 2: War Relocation Authority begins dispersing internees from the camps.

November 28: Poston internment camp is closed.

1946 March 20: Tule Lake, the last internment camp, is closed.

June 30: The War Relocation Authority closes. It spent $160 million during the war.

1983 Reopening their cases based on evidence alleging the government misled the Supreme Court about the loyalty of Japanese-Americans, three former internees--Fred Korematsu, Minoru Yasui and Gordon Hirabayashi--file appeals to their wartime convictions for resisting the internment. 1988 January: Hirabayashi's conviction for resisting curfew is vacated. The government declines to appeal the decisions in the Hirabayashi and Korematsu cases, ending the litigation before it reaches the Supreme Court.

August 10: President Reagan signs a bill apologizing for the internment and authorizing payment of $20,000 to each camp survivor.

1990 Oct. 9: Justice Department begins issuing $20,000 redress checks to surviving internees.

Today So far, 50,000 cases have been settled and $1 billion has been disbursed to camp survivors. The Office of Redress Administration has approved funding for up to 62,500. Additional funding is pending. Sources: Jim Sleeper, author and historian in Tustin: "Japanese Americans: From Relocation to Redress," 2nd edition, edited by Roger Daniels, Sandra C. Taylor, Harry H.L.Kitano; Yugi Ichioka, research associate Asian American Studies Center; UCLA.

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