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The U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Japanese Incarceration

America fought World War II to preserve freedom and democracy, yet that same war featured the greatest suppression of civil liberties in the nation’s history. In an atmosphere of hysteria, President Roosevelt, encouraged by officials at all [...]

Incarcerated Japanese and Guard "Greet" New Arrivals at Manzanar

These Japanese Americans in the newly opened Manzanar Relocation Center had gathered to watch the arrival of fellow internees. Manzanar was the incarceration site located nearest to Los Angeles. It was surrounded by barbed wire, with manned guard [...]

Map of Japanese Incarceration Sites

The U.S. government forced more than 100,000 Japanese Americans to leave their homes and businesses on the West Coast and report to one of fifteen assembly centers. At these centers they were first processed and then transported by train to one of [...]

Table of Incarcerated Japanese Populations, 1942-1946

The U.S. government forced more than 100,000 Japanese Americans to leave their homes and businesses on the West Coast and report to one of fifteen assembly centers. At these centers they were first processed and then transported by train to one of [...]

Rosie the Riveter Leaves the Industrial Workplace

While government planners and factory owners assumed that women’s industrial work during World War II would last only as long as the war lasted, many of the women had other ideas. After the war ended, despite their new skills, they found [...]

The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments

Congress passed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, outlawing slavery, before the Civil War had ended. Once the war was over, white southerners passed laws (known as Black Codes) to keep freedmen from exercising their rights, and Congress [...]

Black Codes Restrict Newly Won Freedom

In the fall of 1865, white southerners, most of them ex-Confederates and planters, won large majorities in local and state elections throughout the South. They quickly passed a series of restrictive laws, or Black Codes, which varied only slightly [...]

A Freedman and a General Discuss the Meanings of Freedom

What exactly should be done for freedmen, if anything, was hotly debated in the years following the Civil War. As this exchange between a Union military officer and a former slave in Arkansas shows, even the meaning of freedom was up for grabs.

The Freedmen's Bureau Aids Civil War Refugees

In the chaotic last days of the Civil War, newly emancipated slaves were on the move across the South. Some had escaped bondage by joining Union military forces and following them; others were attempting to reunite with lost family members. Most had [...]

Gathering the Dead and Wounded

A Harper’s Weekly engraving shows some of the grim results of a terrorist attack on the African-American citizens of the rural town of Colfax, Louisiana, in April 1873. Starting in 1871, the Democratic party in several southern states began an [...]

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