Education

Telegram - Japanese American Tozai Club to President Roosevelt, December 7, 1941


Historical Context
On December 7th, 1941, the nation of Japan launched a devastating surprise attack on America’s Pacific Fleet. Over 3,500 Americans were either killed or wounded on that “day of infamy.” The U.S. subsequently entered the war and helped defeat the totalitarian regimes of both Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. During the course of the war the American government would forcibly inter over 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry.

 
Essential Question
How does the document illustrate the importance of determining an author’s point of view?

 
Check for Understanding
Write a plausible response to the telegram. Imagine how President Roosevelt may have responded to this declaration. Would he have felt guilt sending the Japanese Americans to camps? Why would he have decided to send them even if he felt it was wrong?
[click to enlarge]
Tozai Telegram, Other, FDR_Tozai_Telegram
Document Description
Telegram from the Japanese American Tozai Club of New York City to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, December 7, 1941.
Questions
  1. When was this telegram sent?
  2. What event occurred on this day?
  3. Why would Japanese Americans be concerned about the bombing of Pearl Harbor?
  4. What happened to Japanese Americans during the war?
  5. Who signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the relocation of Japanese Americans into camps? Do you think this telegram had the effect it intended?
Historical Challenge
Research the contributions of Japanese Americans to the military during WWII, especially the Nisei Unit.