May 9, 1942: These California farm families are preparing to evacuate to internment camps, as documented by photographer Dorothea Lange.
Centerville, California. Farm families of Japanese ancestry awaiting the evacuation buses which will take them to the Tanforan Assembly center along with 595 others evacuated from this district under Civilian Exclusion Order Number 34. 05/09/1942
Dorothea Lange, photographer. From the Central Photographic File of the War Relocation Authority
May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. You can find our past posts on Japanese American Internment & Relocation under the #Japanese American Internment tag.
San Francisco, California. This restaurant, named “Nisei” after second-generation children born in this country to Japanese immigrants was closed prior to evacuation of residents of Japanese ancestry; and, according to sign in the window, was scheduled to re-open under new management. Evacuees will be housed at War Relocation Authority centers for [the] duration. 04/07/1942
Professional photographers such as Lange were commissioned by the WRA to document the daily life and treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
On Wednesday, February 27, at noon, author Eric L. Muller will discuss his book “Colors of Confinement.”
This program will also be streamed live over the National Archives UStream channel.
In 1942, Bill Manbo and his family were forced from their Hollywood home into an internment camp at Heart Mountain, Wyoming. Using Kodachrome film, Manbo captured community celebrations and recorded his family’s struggle to maintain a normal life. Eric L. Muller uses these photos to describe Japanese American life in the camps.
The program will be held in the McGowan Theater at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. The program is FREE. A book signing will follow the program.
Did you know that the National Archives is on Pinterest? In honor of Superbowl Sunday, we’ve created two pinboards with lots of great photos!
Check out “Watching the Big Game” for historical football pictures from our holdings. And then explore “Presidents and the Pigskin” for some fun images from Our Presidents.
Image: Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Heart Mountain, Wyoming. An exciting bit of aciton between the “All Stars” and “Jack Rabbits” football teams, during a game at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center. At the moment it is difficult to say who has the ball.(National Archives, Record Group 210, ARC 539463)
Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Heart Mountain, Wyoming. Members of the staff and volunteer helpers reassemble a privately owned Japanese typewriter to be used for the Japanese languge edition of the Heart Mountain Sentinel, Center newspaper. The paper is wrapped around the rubber cylinder, the typist pushes the roller riding platten over the bed of type. After picking the next character, a lever is operated which picks up the type, presses it against the paper and replaces it in its niche. Complicated in appearance and operation, due to the short hand characteristics of Japanese writing, the advance of thought is nearly equal in speed to a standard English typewriter. 1/13/1943
Tom Parker, photographer. From the Central Photographic File of the War Relocation Authority
Tule Lake Relocation Center, Newell, California. A fashion show was one of the many exhibits held at this relocation center on labor day. Great skill was shown in dressmaking and tailoring, and was thoroughly appreciated by the large audience which witnessed this display. 09/07/1942
Francis Stewart, Photographer, War Relocation Authority
Today in history, The Japanese-American Internment Compensation Bill is Signed by President Ronald Reagan.
In 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which was used almost exclusively to intern Americans of Japanese descent. By 1943, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans had been forced from their homes and moved to camps.
Forty-six years later, on August 10, 1988, President Reagan signed the Japanese-American Internment Compensation Bill. The bill acknowledged the injustice of the internment, apologized for it, and provided a $20,000 cash payment to each person who was interned.
Pictured above: First-grade children of Japanese ancestry during flag pledge ceremony at a public school in San Francisco prior to internment. 4/20/42
Below: President Reagan signs the Reparations Bill for Japanese-Americans in the Old Executive Office Building. 8/10/88
Closing of the Jerome Relocation Center, Denson, Arkansas. A typical truck load of Jerome residents waiting to be put on the train for transfer to the Gila River Center. 06/13/1944
Charles E. Mace, photographer. From the Central Photographic File of the War Relocation Authority
In 1942, the Jerome Relocation Center was the last camp to be opened and it was the first to be closed on June 30, 1944.
San Francisco, California. The family unit in kept intact in various phases of evacuation of persons of Japanese ancestry. …A view at Wartime Civil Control Administration station, 2020 Van Ness Avenue, on April 6, 1942, when first group of 664 was evacuated from San Francisco. The family unit likewise is preserved in War Relocation Authority centers where evacuees will spend the duration.
This photo of Japanese-American evacuees was taken by Dorothea Lange on April 6, 1942. Professional photographers such as Lange were commissioned by the WRA to document the daily life and treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
Issued by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, this order authorized the evacuation of all persons deemed a threat to national security from the West Coast to relocation centers further inland. In the next 6 months, over 100,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry were moved to assembly centers. They were then evacuated to and confined in isolated, fenced, and guarded relocation centers, known as internment camps.
The U.S. Government would eventually be compelled to compensate surviving internees for their treatment in 1988.
Executive Order 9066 dated February 19, 1942, in which President Franklin D. Roosevelt Authorizes the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas, 02/19/1942
Read more at Our Documents
The Granada War Relocation Center Closes
October 15, 1945 marked the closing date of the Granada Project, the first of the War Relocation Authority centers to be closed. Under the authority of Executive Order 9066, issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, approximately 110,000 Japanese-Americans were interned in 10 relocation centers for the duration of World War II.
On August 10, 1988, survivors of civilian relocation camps were granted restitution payments by the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.
Chrysanthemum Day is celebrated on September 9th in Japan.
The above image, dated November 25, 1942 is part of the Records of the War Relocation Activity. The original caption:
Gila River Relocation Center, Rivers, Arizona. Watering chrysanthemum plants in “Nakata and Son” hot house. Many rare and patented flowers have been developed by this firm. Some of the blooms shown in this picture have never been shown before.
…to acknowledge the fundamental injustice of the evacuation, relocation, and internment of United States citizens and permanent resident aliens of Japanese ancestry during World War II…
Approved August 10, 1988, H.R. 442, or “An Act to implement recommendations of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians” awarded restitution payments of $20,000 to Japanese-American survivors of World War II civilian internment camps.
First Child born at Tule Lake Relocation Center.
The full caption for this photograph reads: Tule Lake Relocation Center, Newell, California. Proud Mrs. Kumiko Noda, 23, evacuee from Florin California, holds her new son, Newell Kazuo Noda. Baby Newell arrived at 6:12 A.M., Sunday June 12, and was the first child born at this War Relocation Authority Center for evacuee of Japanese descent.