John L. DeWitt

John L. DeWitt

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John L. DeWitt

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John Lesesne DeWitt (January 9, 1880-June 20, 1962) was a general in the United States Army, best known for his vocal support of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

He first opposed wholesale internment, rather only individuals that were deemed disloyal. General DeWitt recommended to President Roosevelt the evacuation of all Japanese Americans from the coastal areas of California, Oregon and the state of Washington. President Roosevelt agreed with the General DeWitt recommendation and issued Executive Order 9066, ordering the evacuation. General DeWitt interpreted Executive Order 9066 as interning all people of Japanese ancestry living in America.

The president's executive order affected 110,000 Japanese men, women and children. Seventy five percent of the affected Japanese Americans were American-born citizens. Although the removal of the Japanese Americans was technically called an evacuation, it turned out to be internment in detention camps, euphemistically called resettlement camps.

In the course of carrying out the policy, he issued military proclamations that applied to American men, women and children of Japanese ancestry, most of whom were American citizens, directing that they be moved from their homes to government created and operated internment camps.

Military career

DeWitt was born at Fort Sidney, Nebraska on January 9, 1880. On October 10, 1898, he was appointed as a Second Lieutenant with the U.S. Army infantry. He would go on to serve...
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