Japanese American Internment Era Collection

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Sources
Date Posted: 5/17/2016

During WWII almost 120,000 Japanese Americans were uprooted from the West Coast regions that were deemed military exclusion zones, moved cities and states away, and controlled under severe restrictions. We can better understand the lives, experiences, and stories of these people by studying objects within the National Museum of American History’s collection. The objects tell us about particular people as well as about general life in the war relocation centers. From the stories attached to these objects, we see that people tried to carry on with life as close to normal as possible and had to make difficult decisions about an uncertain future. This collection gives us a unique opportunity to better understand the harrowing experiences of a particular episode in our nation’s not too distant past.