Photo shows Relocation departure, Manzanar Relocation Center; photograph by Ansel Adams, 1943. Group of men gathered around a bus packed with passengers and luggage say farewell, snow on the ground. On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Fear of a Japanese invasion and of subversive acts by Japanese Americans prompted President Franklin D. Roosevelt to sign Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942.
The order designated the West Coast as a military zone from which "any or all persons may be excluded." Although not specified in the order, Japanese Americans were singled out for evacuation. More than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry were removed from California, southern Arizona, and western Washington and Oregon and sent to ten relocation camps.