The fortune cookie is an American invention. However, its cultural birth was one of institutional racism and trauma. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed executive order 9066 in 1942 to incarcerate all Japanese Americans on the West Coast of the United States. Unconstitutionally, 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were natural born citizens, were sent to incarceration camps. Homes, businesses and property were unloaded hastily before the indefinite detention. Omikuji cookie makers in California sold their companies to Chinese families and fortune cookies began to appear in American Chinese restaurants. Lucky numbers and fortunes were marketable messages due to the exoticism and othering of Asian Americans which made its way into everyday U.S. culture.
The Fortune Cookie Archive is a collection of over 25 different fortune cookies for viewers to take. Each of the 25 different cookies holds the date of an anti-Asian hate murder(s). These killings go back to massacres in the 1870's to the present day.