Civilian Exclusion Order #5

The first official act of the relocation effort was to notify "all persons of Japanese ancestry" of the evacuation from the military zone along the west coast. Posters like the one in the photo below, specific to neighborhoods throughout Washington, Oregon, and California, were hung in early April, 1942. Expectations regarding the early phases of internment were clearly detailed.

To Start You Thinking -

  • 1) Read the enlarged copy of text of the poster. What was the limit on the extent of personal belongings that an individual or family could bring with them into internment?

  • 2) What were the government's responsibilities to the evacuees as outlined in the poster?

  • 3) Why do you suppose the photographer, Dorothea Lange, chose to include the Civilian Defense poster in the upper left of the photo along with the Exclusion Order?


image from Dorothea Lange, "Civilian exclusion order #5," April, 1942 as found in Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
Last modified in July, 2008 by Rick Thomas