DORIS O. MATSUI: From A Japanese Incarceration Camp To U.S. Congress


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Calif. — Doris Okada Matsui is a product of Executive Order 9066 (EO 9066), which was signed on Feb. 19, 1942 by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The president authorized the Secretary of War to designated various inland area as military zones for the deportation and relocation of up to 120,000 people of Japanese Ancestry to internment camps.

World War II was underway when the order was signed and the United States wanted to prescribe "regulations for the conduct and control of alien enemies" in response to the intense bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. More than 60 percent of the people incarcerated in the camps were U.S. citizens.

EOs are legally binding orders manifested to direct federal agencies and officials to establish congressional laws and policies. Imperial Japan was suspected to be behind the attack of Pearl Harbor, which led Americans on the west coast to become weary of Fifth Column activities.

Before her life began, Matsui's life was already labeled as an "evacuee" or "Internee." Her parents met in an internment camp and she was born Sept. 25, 1944 in Poston, Arizona, at the Poston War Relocation Center — the largest of the ten American concentration camps.

FULL STORY COMING SOON THIS FALL...

First Photo - Doris O. Matsui, with her husband Robert "Bob" T. Matsui. The Mastuis spent time in U.S.-issued Japanese Internment Camps during their childhood. They also became leaders in their communities and U.S. Representatives. This photo was taken in 1978 (Courtesy of Doris O. Matsui).

Second Photo - Congresswoman Doris O. Matsui, D-Sacramento, left, with then Sen. Hilary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, right, in 2007 (Courtesy of Doris O. Matsui).

First published July 7, 2016

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