PBS documentary reveals how close Japanese-Hawaiians were to internment

In the days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, a group of dedicated individuals persuaded the most powerful men in Washington, D.C., not to uproot and intern almost 40 percent of Hawai‘i’s population.

Their story airs at 8 p.m. tonight on PBS Hawaii in the original documentary “First Battle” from filmmaker Tom Coffman.

President Franklin Roosevelt, his chief of staff Gen. George Marshall and Secretary of the Navy John Knox all called for the internment of nearly all of Hawai‘i’s 140,000 residents of Japanese ancestry after Pearl Harbor.

“It very well could have happened,” Coffman said in a PBS Hawaii press release, “if not for a few twists of fate and the foresight and bravery of a small network of men here in Hawai‘i.”

For more information, interested persons can visit wwwthefirstbattle.com.

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