AUGUST 10, 1988

PRESIDENT REAGAN SIGNS ALEUTIAN AND PRIBILOF ISLANDS RESTITUTION ACT OF 1988

In June 1942, Japan invaded Kiska and Attu, the westernmost Aleutian Islands.  Shortly after the invasion, the United States evacuated some 880 Aleuts from the Aleutian Chain and the Pribilof Islands over 2,000 miles away to abandoned canneries near Juneau. The roofs and walls had holes, windows and doors were broken, floors rotted, and electricity, sanitation and running water were scant.  Nearby, Nazi POWs were being treated far better.  The Aleuts remained interned until the end of the war.  Some 118 Aleuts perished from lack of warmth, food, and medical care.  In 1980, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians was established and reviewed the relocation and internment of American civilians during World War II.  As a result, Congress passed the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands Restitution Act, which paid $12,000 to Aleut surviving victims.  By then, however, about half of the survivors had long since passed away.  In 1993, Congress amended the Act to increase the payments.

Source:  John Smelcer, “The Other WWII American-Internment Atrocity,” (2/21/2017), NPR:  Code Switch, 2/21/2017, most-recently corrected, 1/3/2018.  Retrieved 7/10/2019, https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/02/21/516277507/the-other-wwii-american-internment-atrocity
Photo:  Department of the U.S. Navy, June 1942.  National Archives and Records Administration.  Public Domain.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.