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Word for the Wise February 19, 2007 Broadcast Topic: Redress

Although this third Monday in February wasn't celebrated as Presidents’ Day in1942, it was back on February 19th, 1942, that presidential Executive Order 9066 was signed—over the objections of Eleanor Roosevelt—by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. (来源:英语麦当劳 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

That Executive Order granted military commanders the authority to prescribe any area of the United States "a military area from which any or all persons may be excluded." In practical terms, this authorized the internment of more than one hundred thousand citizens and resident aliens—mostly, but not exclusively, Japanese-Americans—over the next three years. It took decades, a Congressional Commission, apologies from at least two Presidents (Reagan and the first President Bush, plus less formal words from President Ford), and a few cases before the Supreme Court before government redress was complete.

Redress—with French roots meaning "to make straight again"—implies making compensation or reparation for an unfairness, injustice, or imbalance. Closely related in meaning to redress are rectify and remedy. The Latin kin of rectify means "to set straight or right;" rectify implies an essential changing to make something right, just, or properly controlled or directed. Finally, there's remedy, "to heal again" in Latin, and, in English, used for rendering innocuous—or substituting something right, good, or helpful—some cause of trouble, harm, or evil.

 
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