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This Day In Market History: Congress Approves Civil Liberties Act of 1988

This Day In Market History: Congress Approves Civil Liberties Act of 1988

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened? On this day in 1988, Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

Where The Market Was: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 2,126.60 and the S&P 500 traded at 271.93.

What Else Was Going On In The World? In 1988, Stephen Hawking published “A Brief History of Time.” Antidepressant drug Prozac was introduced. A movie ticket cost $3.50.

Making Amends: In 1988, 43 years after the end of World War II, Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 to officially apologize to U.S. citizens and legal residents of Japanese ancestry that had been incarcerated in internment camps during WWII.

From 1942 to 1945, all people of Japanese descent living in the U.S. were interred in isolation camps under order of President Franklin Rosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. Roosevelt’s order came in response to Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor and is considered one of the most atrocious U.S. violations of civil rights in the 20th century.

More than 117,000 people were imprisoned in internment camps in California, Washington and Oregon during the war, including Japanese residents of Canada, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 served as an official apology from President Ronald Reagan, and included a payment of $20,000 to each imprisoned person as redress. According to the document, the internment camps were a result of “racial prejudice, wartime hysteria and lack of political leadership.”

A total of 82,291 survivors ultimately received their $20,000 government payment.


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