The Museum’s longest running exhibit, “Uprooted! Japanese
Americans During WWII” surveys a century of Japanese American
history in California through the personal stories of formerly
Although Japanese immigrants and their American-born children
established businesses, built thriving communities and
contributed to the state’s prosperity, they began to face
hostility and discrimination following the bombing of Pearl
Harbor on December 7, 1941.
The tension came to head when President Franklin D. Roosevelt
authorized the internment of Japanese American citizens by
signing Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. Under the
order, local military commanders were able to designate “military
areas” as “exclusion zones,” from which “any or all persons may
be excluded,” which cleared the way for the relocation of
Japanese Americans to internment camps. By the spring of 1942,
Japanese Americans were forced to relocate to “Assembly Centers”
and were eventually moved to “War Relocation Centers” across the
West like Manzanar and Tule Lake in California.
Following the history of the Japanese Americans in California,
visitors experience life behind barbed wire in recreated
barracks, which displays photographs and artifacts from the
Japanese American Archival Collection at California State
University, Sacramento. Continuing through the 1980s, the
exhibit also chronicles how former internees overcame the
hardships of the internment and worked to establish their lives,
their communities and redress for their losses after the war.
Each winter, the Museum offers an education program about the
internment, led by people who experienced it personally. For more
information, please visit the “Time of Remembrance” page.