In 1942, some 120,000 Japanese-Americans -- two-thirds of them U.S. citizens -- were removed from their homes on the West Coast and sent to concentration camps. In 1944, the United States reinstituted the draft for Nisei, Japanese-Americans born in the United States, who were imprisoned in the camps with their immigrant parents. Many Japanese-Americans believed that the detainees should fight for the United States, as they felt their willingness to risk their lives for their country would eliminate any doubt as to their loyalty and hasten the return of their rights as citizens. At the Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming, certain draftees refused induction. As one resister wrote: "I could not believe the government could actually put us in camp, strip us of everything, and then order us into the military as if nothing had happened." Sixty-three resisters were tried for draft evasion in a "mass trial." Eight leaders of the resistance effort were tried for conspiracy to counsel draft evasion.
This program will tell the story of the draft resisters, through narration, re-enactments of court proceedings, and historic documents and photographs.