The War Powers Act of 1941, also known as the First War Powers Act, was an American emergency law that increased Federal power during World War II. The act was signed by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and put into law on December 18, 1941, less than two weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

War Powers Act of 1941:

This act gave the Federal government the power to round up Japanese, German, and Italian American people if they were thought to be subversive to the United States. The following articles, which appeared across the country, tell of the rounding up of Japanese, German, and Italians, who may or may not have been guilty of the crime for which they were being held.
My dad told me of Italians coming to the SSCC Hall in Hackensack, which my grandfather was president, and they were Italian prisoners, who were allowed to come to view shows or come to gatherings at the hall under supervision.

 Click here to view the Asbury Park Press October 27, 1999 article of Dominic DiMaggio, the great Joe DiMaggio’s brother, appearing before the House Judiciary committee in 1999 to tell of his father being under curfew from 8pm to 6am and losing his fishing boat in San Francisco during World War II.
600,000 Italian Americans were considered enemy aliens and had to carry special ID and could not travel more
than five miles from home until Italy surrendered in 1943, accordingly to the article. 

The Japanese had over 120,000 people in internment camps throughout the country, which has been well documented. Germans seemed to have fared better with only 11,000 interned by wars end according to research. 

Click here to view The Record October 1938 articles on the German Bund in New Milford, NJ and the great conflict the organization was stirring up. There was a large German presence in New Milford in 1942 and a neighbor of mine in town told me, who was alive at the time, that when war finally broke out, they broke up the meetings at the house and many of the German people were arrested, who were involved with leading the meetings.

Written by:
Bob Meli
December 7, 2016

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