World War II
At the start of World War II in 1941, more than a quarter-million Asian-Americans were living in the United States. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Japanese-Americans were perceived as a threat to national security based solely on their ethnic ancestry. Consequently, on March 18, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the War Relocation Authority. Thousands of Japanese-Americans were moved involuntarily to internment camps created throughout the United States. Despite being subjected to prejudice and discrimination, a large number of Nisei (first generation Japanese-Americans born in the United States) volunteered for service in the U.S. Army. These Soldiers served with great honor in the Europe and North Africa campaigns. Their feats of courage, particularly in the Italian campaign, are legendary. Other Asian-American groups also answered the call to duty and served with great distinction in the European and Pacific theaters—many taking part in the liberation of their ancestral homelands.