Portland is at the center of one of the most debated controversies of World War II, the internment of approximately 120,000 Japanese American citizens and Japanese immigrants. President Franklin Roosevelt authorized this by signing Executive Order 9066 a little more than 80 years ago on Feb. 19, 1942.

Among other things, the order allowed Portland to be transformed into a major hub for rounding up Japanese and Japanese Americans living on the West Coast and shipping them to inland camps where most of them spent the rest of the war. Among them was the Kikkawa family.


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