Northeastern Illinois University was chosen as the Chicago site for the historically significant Commission on the Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) hearings that took place on September 22-23, 1981. These hearings investigated the legality of Executive Order 9066, a mandate issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II that forcibly evacuated and detained over 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of whom were American citizens. Considered a threat to national security because of their ethnic background, the uprooted Japanese and Japanese-Americans were placed into internment camps and held for an average of three years.

The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) was created in 1980 to investigate the constitutional and ethical objections of Executive Order 9066. The CWRIC executed an official evaluation of the order and its impact on the formerly interned and their families, starting the process of reparations to the Japanese Americans for the time, property, and liberty they had lost. The CWRIC reviewed the facts and circumstances surrounding Executive Order 9066 and its impact on the affected; the Committee also sought appropriate remedies. In order to fulfill that mandate, the CWRIC held twenty days of hearings in cities throughout the United States: Anchorage, Cambridge, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. The CWRIC heard testimonies from more than 750 witnesses of the internment experience. The results of these national hearings led to the passage of the Civil Liberties Act, which was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. This federal law granted the victims of the internment a formal government apology and financial reparations for the losses they had suffered.

At the 2-day hearing, testifiers were interviewed in sets of three to seven individuals sitting on themed panels. After each panel of testimonies, members of the CWRIC commission had the opportunity to question testifiers about their experiences.

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Submissions from 1981

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001 Agenda for the Hearing before the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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002 Testimonies of Maryann Mahaffey, Studs Terkel, and Jay Miller, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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003 Testimonies of Yvonne Delk, Minoru Yasui, and David Roth, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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004 Testimonies of C. Harvey Gardiner, Seiichi Higashide, George Fuji, Eigo Kudo, Elsa Kudo, and Panel on Japanese from Peru, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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005 Testimonies of J. Fred MacDonald, Masaru Yamasaki, Grace Watanabe Kimura, Panel on Japanese from Peru (continued), Panel on Media Reaction, and Panel on Economic Loss, Education Loss, and Property Loss, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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006 Testimonies of Thomas Kanno, Allan Hida, Ben Yoshioka, Chiye Tomihiro, and Panel on Economic Loss, Education Loss, and Property Loss (continued), Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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007 Testimonies of Masayuki Tashima, Jitsuo Morikawa, Henry Tanaka, Shigesato Murao, and Monica Sone, Panel on Individual Psychological Impact, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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008 Testimonies of Asae Honda, Helen Murao, Toyo Suyemoto Kawakami, Mitzi Shio Schectman, Maye Nakano, and Panel on the Impact on Health, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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009 Testimonies of Toaru Ishiyama, Ikuo Komatsu, Kay Yamashita, Kei Harada, and Panel on Impact on Family (Survey/Experience), Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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010 Testimonies of Dean L. Frantz, Virgil Kraft, Kazutoshi Mayeda, John Sone, Tom Nakao, Jr., John Kawano, Jack Nakagawa, and Allen H. Meyer, Panel on Resettlement, Panel on Impact on Sansei, Panel on Forms of Redress, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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011 Testimonies of Michael Ushijima, Henry Ushijima, George Taketa, Harry Taketa, and Panel on Forms of Redress (continued), Panel on Camp Conditions and Problems, Panel on Social Impact and Loyalty, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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012 Testimonies of May Ichida, Alice Esaki, Seiichi Michael Yasutake, Thomas Minoru Tajiri, Yoji Ozaki, Miyo Morikawa Hayashi, and Panel on Social Impact and Loyalty (continued), Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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013 Testimonies of Kazuko Ige, Shizu Sue Lofton, S. Garry Oniki, Akira Arai, Lillian K. Hayano, Panel on Impact on Family, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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014 Testimonies of Tomoharu P. Hachiya, Frank M. Kajikawa, Sam Ozaki, Frank Sakamoto, Hosen Oshita, Shiro Shiraga, Roy Seitsuda, and Panel on Impact on Japanese American Veterans - 442nd Regimental Combat Team and U.S. Military Intelligence Service, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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015 Testimonies of Lillian Kimura, John Tani, George Van Dusen, Aris Mantzoros, and William R. London, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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016 Testimonies of Warren Fencl, Harold Dode, Edward Kelley, Masato Nakagawa, Arthur Morimitsu, Eddie Sato, Sam Sato, and Panel on Reparations and Redress, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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017 Testimonies of Shigeo Wakamatsu, Betty Fumi Hasegawa, Tom Watanabe, John Shigeru Kimoto, Minoru Mochizuki, Panel on Reparations and Redress (continued), Panel on Medical Care and Voluntary Evacuation, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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018 Testimonies of Helen Mukoyama, S. Maren Sharvy, Joe Tanaka, and Panel on Discrimination and Public Opinion, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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019 Testimonies of Maynard C. Krueger, John Corey, Jan Linfield, Harold Flitcraft, Winifred McGill, Christopher Anderson + AV Presentation, and Panel on Impact of Evacuation, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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020 Testimonies of Peter Suzuki, Rachel Sady, Panel on Evacuation (continued), and Panel on Community Analysis Reports of War Relocation Authority, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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021 Testimonies of Martin Deppe, Jesse Dewitt, Martha Coursey, Gregory Dell, Myron Kuropas, Bert Arata, Hiroshi Kadokura, Mary Nishimoto, Frank Watanabe, and Panel on Discrimination and Social Impact, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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022 Testimonies of Merry Fujihara Omori, Emi Fuji, Daniel Kei Kuzuhara, Kay Uno Kaneko, and Panel on Reparations, Remedies, and Crystal City Internment Camp, Northeastern Illinois University Archives

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023 Testimonies of Shirley Castelnuovo and Victor Rosenblum, Panel on Constitutional Issues, and Panel on Monetary Compensation and Other Remedies, Northeastern Illinois University Archives