Santa Cruz County History - Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Feb. 21, 1942. p. 1


Washington, (UP) - President Roosevelt Friday authorized the secretary of war to take control of certain areas of the United States and to exclude from such areas any persons, citizens and aliens alike.

By executive order, Mr. Roosevelt authorized and directed the secretary of war to prescribe military areas from which "any or all persons may be excluded."

The order was designed to give the war department and designated military commanders under the secretary of war the power to move out of vital defense areas any persons believed inimical to the American war effort. The action was designed to help authorities on the west coast to deal with American citizens of Japanese ancestry, particularly those who are considered as dangerous as alien Japanese. The order, however, applies to all Japanese, German and Italian nationals, as well as to citizens of the United States. The president's order did not specify the military areas to be prescribed by the secretary of war, leaving it to the latter's discretion and that of his military commanders.

The executive order, signed by the president Thursday and announced Friday, authorizes the secretary of war to provide transportation, food and shelter for persons excluded from military areas. Mr. Roosevelt directed the secretary of war and his military commanders to take any other steps necessary to enforce compliance with the restrictions applicable to each military area. They are empowered to use federal troops and the facilities of federal agencies in carrying out the restrictions.

Acting under his powers as president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Mr. Roosevelt thus made it possible for the army to determine who shall be allowed to remain in vital defense areas, whether or not they are citizens.

Copyrighted by the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian. Reproduced by permission.