Through most of 1941, as fighting raged across Europe, the United States held back from entering the war. That all changed in December, when Japanese fighter planes bombed Pearl Harbor and the nation found itself mobilizing for World War II. Suddenly, the frenzy to fight enemies abroad turned to suspicion against those at home.
President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, giving the military the power to detain and permanently jail over 110,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast. But three young detainees would defy their fate.
Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayshi and Mitsuye Endo would challenge the U.S. policy of Japanese internment and bring their cases all the way to the Supreme Court — pitting the wartime powers of the United States against the constitutional rights of American citizens.
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