The exhibit examines the experience of the 120,000 Japanese Americans forced to leave their homes, businesses, careers, and friends and detained in ten internment camps across the U.S. following the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the United States’ entry into World War II. The exhibit features photographs of two distinctive photographers, Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams, and examines how these two photographers, each with different perspectives, portrayed the evacuations and life within the internment camps.
The exhibit also features the story of Fred Korematsu, a Japanese American who refused to comply with the Executive Order that authorized his evacuation and internment. Eventually, he was arrested and detained in one of the internment camps with his family. Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union argued Korematsu’s case in court several times, eventually reaching the Supreme Court; however, the Court upheld the Executive Order in a 6-3 decision. Justice Robert H. Jackson was one of the three dissenters.