American Pastime Essay

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American Pastime ‘American Pastime’ gives insight to a time and place, we know little about and offers a detailed look at a part of American history many would like to forget. During World War II, the majority Americans were told by the government to distrust citizens of Japanese descent, just because they were visibly different from the rest of society. The military first set curfews on the West Coast for persons of Japanese ancestry and later removed these persons to war relocation centers. Of the approximately 112,000 that were affected, around 70,000 were native–born American citizens, most of whom had done nothing to disprove their loyalty. To help themselves survive and cope with a world turned upside down, many of the internees played their favorite sport, baseball which was important to the internees because it raised the spirits of the people and brought normalcy to a very abnormal condition and situation (Dancis). President Roosevelt issued an order after encouragement from General DeWitt authorizing the evacuation of all persons deemed a threat to national security from the West Coast to relocation centers further inland, known as Executive Order 9066, on February 19, 1942 (Executive Order 9066). In six of the affected states there were ten relocation camps and of these states only one of the governors was opposed to having an internment camp in his state. More then 100,000 Japanese immigrants and U.S. citizens of Japanese descent were forced into interment camps often loosing all of their possessions and assets (J. Jones). One such camp was named Camp Topaz, which provides the setting for historical fiction “American Pastime”. On September 11, 1942, Camp Topaz opened its doors and by April 1, 1943, Camp Topaz, housed more than 8,000 internees, making it Utah’s fifth largest city at the time (Topaz Internment Camp). Internees at Camp Topaz

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