This site explores a period of U.S. history when racial prejudice and fear upset the delicate balance between the rights of a citizen versus the power of the state. Focusing on the experiences of Japanese Americans who were placed in detention campus during World War II, this online exhibit is a case study in decision-making and citizen action under the U.S. Constitution.
Experience the story through interactive galleries that combine images, music, text and first-person accounts in the Story Experience, and then share your own memories and responses in Reflections. Search more than 800 artifacts from the Smithsonian Collection in Collection Search, and find related activities, links, bibliography and more in Resources.
In addition to the wealth of material available in the online exhibit and collection, this site includes a "Reflections" section where visitors may share their responses to seven different questions about issues raised in the exhibit and read the responses of others. In addition to asking for reactions to the website and exhibit itself, there are questions asking for visitor experiences of internment or the World War II era. There also are three more reflective questions asking visitors about the causes of interment and possibility of a similar situation in the future, the meaning of citizenship, and the tension between national security versus indiviudal liberty. Finally, there is a question asking the visitor to compare the attack on Pearl Harbor with the events of September 11, 2001.