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Kansas City’s Surprising Connection to Japanese Internment Camps

Understanding History During ‘A Very Turbulent Moment Right Now’

College-age Japanese American students were allowed to leave internment camps and were enrolled at Park College in 1942.
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In the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, anti-Japanese hysteria gripped the United States.

Early in World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 commanding that “all persons of Japanese ancestry” be moved into internment camps.

The U.S. the government called them “assembly centers.” But some historians now believe that “concentration camps” might have been more accurate.

Although there weren’t any camps in the Midwest, a small group of college-aged Japanese American students from internment camps landed at Park College in 1942.

Watch the attached video to learn more about Japanese internment and its surprising connection to Missouri, and how that local history resonates amid the recent surge in anti-Asian hate crimes.

Catherine Hoffman covers community affairs and culture for Kansas City PBS in cooperation with Report for America.

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