Fears of a Japanese fifth column in the U.S. surfaced long before the first bomb dropped on Pearl Harbor. President Truman secretly authorized a survey of the west coast Japanese population in the event they need to be contained. Those fears were seemingly given form during the Pearl Harbor raid when a Japanese pilot was assisted by several Hawaiians of Japanese descent, and so, in one of the darker examples of American racism, Truman issued Order 9066 for the forcible relocation of over 100,000 U.S. citizens.
On this day, August 10, 1988 President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act which formally acknowledge the wrongfulness of the act. Reagan offered a formal apology and a symbolic payment of $20,000 to each person of Japanese ancestry deprived of liberty of property as a result of government action.
Around 120,000 Japanese-Americans from were removed involuntarily from their homes to either relocate into the interior of the country or, more often, internment camps. Those affected had to quickly sells their homes, their businesses, their belongings, and usually at rock-bottom costs. And when they were set free at the end of the war, many had no homes and no jobs to come back to.