The Presidio's Role in World War II Japanese American Incarceration
Saturdays, 11 am to 4 pm
Heritage Gallery, Presidio Officers' Club
During World War II, the Presidio of San Francisco – the Army's Western Defense Command – played a pivotal role in the unjust incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans, purportedly in the name of national security. This special exhibition marks 75 years since Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt issued Civilian Exclusion Orders from the Presidio, and examines the post's little understood part in these events.
The exhibition invites visitors to investigate the choices – both personal and political – that led to this dark chapter in American history. How did leaders arrive at this decision? How did Japanese Americans respond to the violation of their civil liberties? And what, as a nation, have we learned that can help us address the present-day issues of immigration, racism, and mass incarceration?
Exclusion is the latest special exhibition at the Presidio Officers' Club, a cultural institution showcasing the Presidio's role in shaping and serving the nation. Special exhibitions explore the Presidio's heritage and allow for fresh perspectives and a deeper exploration of the topics and themes presented in the club's permanent exhibition.
In developing EXCLUSION, the Presidio Trust collaborated with the
Fred T. Korematsu Institute and the
National Japanese American Historical Society.
Exclusion has been awarded the 2018
Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence by the Western Museums Association, October 2018.