The special exhibition EXCLUSION: The Presidio’s Role in World War II Japanese American Incarceration explores a dark chapter in American history in which the Presidio of San Francisco played a pivotal role. From his office in the Presidio, Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt implemented President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. DeWitt issued 108 Civilian Exclusion Orders, unjustly incarcerating 120,000 Japanese Americans.
Through this inquiry-based program, students practice critical thinking and historical inquiry skills as they investigate the rich primary sources on display in the EXCLUSION exhibition. Tour guides engage students in conversations and activities that explore the following:
- Why and how did leaders decide to incarcerate Japanese Americans?
- Why was this incarceration considered a violation of civil liberties?
- What was the experience of incarceration like for Japanese Americans?
- How did Japanese Americans respond to the violation of their civil liberties?
- How can we identify injustice and stand up for justice today?
At the close of their visit, students share their reflections with each other and future visitors by participating in Your Voice Matters.
EXCLUSION guided tours are offered for 4th and 5th grade students. The exhibition gallery has limited space and can accommodate small groups only. Tours are limited to one class (34 students max).