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Letters from the Japanese American Incarceration

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Social Studies +1 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old)

Teaching guide based on letters from young people in an Arizona incarceration camp to a librarian, Miss Breed, in their hometown of San Diego. Students piece together a story by comparing these primary-source documents—documents that help to show that history is never a single story. Students should consider what life was like for these Japanese American youth as American citizens, whose families were unfoundedly considered a national security threat and lost many of their freedoms during the incarceration era.

Further context for Executive Order 9066 is available in the National Museum of American History's exhibition, "Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II". Additional historic photographs, documents, newspapers, letters and other primary source materials on this topic can be found via Densho Digital Repository, http://ddr.densho.org.

Keywords: forced removal, incarceration camp, internment camp, Asian American, Japanese American Internment, 1940s, World War 2 

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