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Bayonets in ParadiseMartial Law in Hawai'i during World War II$
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Harry N. Scheiber and Jane L. Scheiber

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824852887

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824852887.001.0001

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Implementation of Martial Law and Military Government

Implementation of Martial Law and Military Government

(p.39) Chapter Three Implementation of Martial Law and Military Government
Bayonets in Paradise

Harry N. Scheiber

Jane L. Scheiber

University of Hawai'i Press

Martial law was declared in Hawai`i within hours of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941; it would last until October 1944. Although the territorial legislature had passed an emergency measure giving the governor virtually dictatorial powers, the Army deemed that measure inadequate and persuaded Governor Joseph Poindexter to suspend habeas corpus and place the Islands under martial law, in accordance with the Organic Act of 1900 that had established Hawai`i as a Territory of the United States. In the two days following the attack, the FBI, assisted by the local police, arrested 430 enemy aliens (mainly Japanese nationals) as well as some Japanese-American, German-American, and Italian-American citizens. The aliens were arrested under presidential authorization; the citizens were arrested under terms of martial law. Most of the detainees were held initially at the Immigration Station in Honolulu and subsequently transferred to Sand Island. Neither the families of those arrested nor the detainees themselves knew what would be their fate.

Keywords:   martial law, military government, Japanese Americans, Nikkei, Issei, Nisei, security, detention, civilians, Organic Act, Joseph Poindexter, enemy aliens

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