Law funds preservation of WWII camps
WASHINGTON » President Bush has signed into law a $38 million grant program to preserve notorious internment camps where Japanese Americans were kept behind barbed wire during World War II.
The money will be administered by the National Park Service to restore and pay for research at 10 camps. The law is intended to help preserve the camps as reminders of how the United States turned on some of its citizens in a time of fear.
The camps housed more than 120,000 Japanese Americans -- U.S. citizens and residents -- under an executive order signed by President Roosevelt in 1942, when America was reeling from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
At the time there were fears that Japanese Americans were loyal to Japan. Roosevelt's order prohibited them from living on the West Coast, in a position possibly to help an invasion force.
Thousands of families in California and parts of Washington state, Oregon and Arizona were pushed from their homes and into camps surrounded by armed guards. The sites named in the legislation are in California, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho.