Assembly Centerstemporary detention camps maintained by the Army that held Japanese Americans who were removed from their West Coast homes. Most assembly centers were located at fairgrounds, racetracks, or former Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps. By mid-1942, Japanese Americans were transferred to more permanent war relocation centers.

Assembly centers are also known as “temporary incarceration camps” and “temporary prison camps.”

Exclusion Zones – areas described in each Civilian Exclusion Order from which all Japanese Americans were removed. Civilian Exclusion Orders were issued by the Western Defense Command and Fourth Army to implement the provisions of Executive Order 9066.

Executive Order 9066 – authorized the War Department to establish military areas from which “any or all persons may be excluded...” This order was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942 and
was the basis for the removal from the West Coast of anyone with 1/16 Japanese ancestry.

Identification Number – a WCCA number assigned to each family unit or individual living alone during registration for “evacuation.” The numbers were used for administrative and property identification purposes.

Isseithe first generation of immigrants from Japan, most of whom came to the U.S. between 1885 and 1924. Issei were not allowed to become U.S. citizens until 1952.

Japanese American Citizen League (JACL) – the largest Japanese American political organization in the U.S. The JACL was formed in 1928 and emphasized assimilation and Americanization during World War II.

Nisei– second generation Japanese Americans, U.S. citizens by birth, born to Japanese immigrants (Issei).

Relocation– term used during World War II to describe the settlement of Japanese Americans who were removed from their homes into war relocation centers. “Relocation” also referred to the process of leaving war relocation centers and settling in the Midwest and East before the evacuation orders for the West Coast were lifted by the War Department.

Wartime Civil Control Administration (WCCA) – the civilian arm of the Western Defense Command that was responsible for the construction at Manzanar from March – May 1942.  While construction of the Manzanar facilities was underway, the War Relocation Authority and the War Department reached an agreement on May 18, 1942, for administrative transfer of the camp from the WCCA to the WRA effective June 1, 1942.

War Relocation Authority (WRA) – the government agency responsible for the administration of the War Relocation Centers where Japanese Americans were held during World War II. The WRA was created by Executive Order 9102 on March 18, 1942. It was an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

War Relocation Centers – the term used by the WRA to describe the camps in which most Japanese Americans were held during World War II. The WRA administered ten such centers, most surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by military police. War Relocation centers are also referred to as “incarceration camps,” “prison camps,” “internment camps,” and “concentration camps.”