May 27, 2011
In one sense, the U.S. solicitor general's recent admission of his office's wrongdoing wasn't really news. After all, commissions courts and investigators long ago established that various government agencies and officials fudged or withheld facts during World War II in order to sweep all people of Japanese descent — American-born citizens as well as immigrants — out of California and parts of three other Western states. Congress, the president, state and local officials and the military rode a wave of war hysteria to support the politically popular but blatantly un-American evacuation and confinement of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 2009 |
A plaque near the entrance on the sprawling grounds of the Santa Anita racetrack is the sole reminder of the track's place in World War II history as the nation's largest assembly center for Japanese Americans on their way to internment camps. Although the prestigious Breeders' Cup World Championships unfolded Friday and Saturday at the landmark racetrack, 67 years ago a darker chapter unfolded at the site. The horses were moved out, the track was shut down and the park's extensive grounds provided the massive space needed by the War Department to temporarily house thousands of people of Japanese decent.
September 18, 2005
SUSAN SPANO wrote a beautiful piece ["A French Village's Unexpected Heroes," Her World, Sept. 4]. The fact that Bruyeres' liberators were Japanese Americans, many of whose families were being held captive at the time in American internment camps, made the event especially poignant. Yet rather than celebrating the heroism of these courageous Americans of Japanese ancestry, Charles Jones ["A WWII View of Internment Camps," Letters, Sept. 11] criticizes Spano's use of the word "infamous" to refer to President Franklin Roosevelt's order to round up and intern 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast during the war. To the interned Americans of Japanese ancestry, Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066 was indeed truly infamous.
January 23, 1995
I was very pleased to read Fred Okrand's history of the American Civil Liberties Union's opposition to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II ("ACLU Posed Challenge to War Internments," Jan. 9), in response to the earlier inaccurate account by Carl B. Pearlston Jr. ("Not a Shining Chapter in ACLU History," Dec. 26). However, no history of this period would be complete without citing the important role of Ernest Besig, then-executive director of the ACLU of Northern California, in bringing the Korematsu case to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1943.
September 20, 2012 |
SAN DIEGO - Like "The Scottsboro Boys" and "Parade" before it, "Allegiance - A New American Musical," about the internment of Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor, attempts to confront a shameful episode in American history and rewrite it as musical theater. Now in its world premiere at the Old Globe, "Allegiance" takes a different route from those dark, sardonic and largely successful shows about bigotry and racial hysteria. "Allegiance" presents a surprisingly mild story of family fractures, not an indictment of American failures.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 2012 |
Gordon Hirabayashi, who was convicted for defying the evacuation and internment of Japanese Americans on the West Coast during World War II and, four decades later, not only cleared his name but helped prove that the government had falsified the reasons for the mass incarceration, has died. He was 93. Hirabayashi, who had Alzheimer's disease and other ailments, died Monday in Edmonton, Alberta, where he had lived for many years, said his son, Jay. The elder Hirabayashi was one of only three Japanese Americans who refused to comply with Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in February 1942.