The Redress Movement

    After four decades of silence, the Sansei children (third generation) of the Nisei began to stir.  They saw the need to educate themselves about their history and to extend that information to the general public.  They joined in organizing pilgrimages and camp reunions, participating in the civil rights movements of the 1960s.  From 1969 on, pilgrimages to Manzanar were held each year.  By 1980, several groups formed to concentrate on the issue of redress for the ethnic community which had suffered incarceration during WWII.  The National Coalition for Redress/Reparations began campaigning for Congressional legislation for an apology from the U.S. government and for monetary compensation.  The Japanese American Citizens League opted to support a Presidential Commission to study the interment, and the National Council for Japanese American Redress filed a class-action suit that would make its way to the US. Supreme court.  Although the Supreme Court recommended that congress redress the wrong committed so long ago, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians concluded that the forced removal and incarceration were due to war hysteria, racial prejudice and a failure of political leadership.

    During the ensuing ten-year campaign to educate and lobby Congress, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 was passed. It was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on August 10, 1988, but did not provide the needed funds.  Finally, on November 21, 1989, President Bush signed the appropriations bill which was added as an amendment to the redress bill.

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