History Colorado: Colorado’s connection to Japanese internment camps

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HISTORY COLORADO -- More than 75 years ago, the attack on Pearl Harbor led to President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing Executive Order 9066.

This order required the detainment of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent in internment camps. One of the relocation centers operated in Southeastern Colorado.

The President signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. More than 7,000 Japanese-Americans were relocated from Los Angeles to the Granada Relocation Center; it was nicknamed "Amache" and was based out of Granada, Colorado.

The small barracks often held up to 7 family members in one cramped room. The Amache residents ate in crowded dining halls and many worked in a silk-screen shop that produced training posters for the U.S. Navy.

Colorado Governor Ralph Carr publicly questioned the order as un-American, but felt bound to follow the President’s directive. His stance on the issue ultimately cost him his political career and he was not re-elected.

On January 2, 1945, Granada Relocation Center closed. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan issued a formal apology to surviving internees.

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