New Podcast Chronicles Internment of Japanese Americans

By Sameer Rao Feb 20, 2018

Yesterday (February 19) marked 76 years since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized the forced removal of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast to internment camps during World War II. American Public Media commemorated the anniversary with the premiere of its latest podcast, "Order 9066."

An emailed statement notes that the radio organization developed "Order 9066" in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, which currently features an exhibit on the internment of Japanese Americans. The statement adds that the podcast explores this dark point in American history—in which Japanese Americans were treated as possible enemy spies despite never being convicted of espionage—via the perspectives of internment survivors. They include podcast narrators Sab Shimono ("Waterworld") and Pat Suzuki ("The Year of the Dragon"), both of whom were incarcerated as children at the Granada Relocation Center in Colorado.

According to the podcast’s official webpage, "Order 9066" draws on these first-person accounts to highlight the anti-Asian racism and jingoism that fueled internment, the lives of internees and the post-World War II movement among Japanese Americans to demand that the government acknowledge its violation of their rights. The podcast series will consist of eight episodes, debuting now through July.

Listen to the first episode of "Order 9066" below.