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Published on Jul 25, 2011
After America was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 consigning 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry to internment camps. Fred Korematsu challenged the internment all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In "Korematsu v. United States" (1944), the Court sided with the government.
In 1988, Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed legislation which apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government. The legislation said that government actions were based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership". The U.S. government eventually disbursed more than $1.6 billion in reparations to Japanese Americans.