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Tokyo Rose, whose real name was Iva Toguri, was an American-born Japanese woman who hosted a Japanese propaganda radio program aimed at U.S. troops during World War II.
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They were married in 1945. In August of that year, America dropped two bombs on Japan and their government subsequently surrendered.
After the war, journalists interviewed Iva, making 17 pages of notes about her radio work, calling her the one and only “Tokyo Rose.” The Army began to investigate her as a traitor, having committed treason for broadcasting Japanese propaganda. She was imprisoned for one year but was released for lack of evidence. Her story was made national news by Walter Winchell. He called for her to be returned to the U.S. so she could be tried. In 1948, President Truman felt moved to act, and she was eventually charged with treason. Her passage back to the U.S. was as a prisoner.
On July 5, 1949, Iva’s treason trial was officially opened. The actual transcriptions of her broadcasts were never shared with the jury. The jury was divided, but the outcome was that she was found guilty. On September 29, 1949, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison. It’s now felt that the “witnesses” were pressured to give their testimony, forced to make her a scapegoat.
When Iva was released, she found her family living in Chicago. She lived for 20 years in Chicago as a state-less citizen. In 1976, President Generald Ford wrote an executive pardon for Iva Toguri. She died on September 26, 2006, as an undisputed American citizen.
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