This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” over the noon hour Thursday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.
The early 1940s marked a culmination of anti-Asian sentiment in the United States — specifically towards Japanese Americans. Prior to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and World War II, federal agencies already kept a close watch on the community.
But the events of Dec. 7, 1941, led to the eventual detainment of about 112,000 people of Japanese heritage, approximately 75,000 of whom were American citizens. Because President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, they were put in internment camps against their will in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.
The executive order allowed detention without evidence and trials, and was based on the prejudicial assumption that Japanese Americans living in the U.S. were internal connections for Japan, intended to cause harm.
People within and outside of the U.S. government knew it was wrong. And there was some vocal opposition.
“But those voices were drowned out,” said Mark Sundlov, the managing director of Soldiers Museum Military Museum in downtown St. Louis.
A deep look at this history is now on display at the museum as part of the ongoing Smithsonian traveling exhibit “Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II.”
Sundlov will join Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air to explore the exhibit’s themes and highlight local connections to this national story.
Afterwards, host Sarah Fenske will also talk with Japanese American composer Kashi Bashi about his musical multimedia piece “Improvisations on EO9066.” It explores Japanese internment during WWII, and will be performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on Sept. 17.
What: “Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II”
When: Now through October, 3 2021
Where: Soldiers Memorial Military Museum (1315 Chestnut St, St. Louis, MO 63103)
What are your thoughts about this period of U.S. history? Tweet us (@STLonAir), send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or share your thoughts via our St. Louis on the Air Facebook group, and help inform our coverage.
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.
Originally Appeared Here