On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 that called for the removal of Americans of Japanese heritage to relocation centers across the United States. These centers were commonly referred to as internment camps. Over the next three years, approximately 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry were interned.
During those years, an effort was made to relocate Japanese American college students out of internment campus and to universities and colleges away from the West coast.
"The attitude of the University is that these students, if American citizens, have exactly the same rights as other students who desire to register in the University..."
Approximately thirty Japanese American students transferred to Washington University and faced no restrictions academically nor in extracurricular activities, campus or dormitory life.
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Ted Ono, Yo Matsumato, Richard (Dick) Henmi at Washington University, 1942.
Additional primary sources
Hatchet yearbooks are available to researchers at University Archives. Select pages are available in digital format..
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In 2009, all incoming first year WUSTL students read When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka and participated in discussion groups and other programs. Some of the information on this page was originally from the Freshman Reading Program companion website.