Thursday, May 14, 2009

27 Things: Sacramento and the War Relocation Authority

Sacramento history during World War II.

Japanese in Sacramento County were sent to many different places, dependent upon where they lived. Some were sent first to Walerga Assembly Center then to Tule Lake. Some were sent directly to Manzanar. Some were sent to Fresno then to Rower in Arkansas. Some were sent to Pinedale Assembly Center then to Poston, Arizona. [From: Maeda, Wayne. Changing Dreams and Treasured Memories: The Story of Japanese Americans in the Sacramento Region. Sacramento, CA : Sacramento Japanese American Citizens League, c2000. p.188. The Elk Grove Citizen, March 11, 1983, p.2]

A soldier and his mother in a strawberry field. The soldier, age 23, volunteered July 10, 1941, and is stationed at Camp Leonard Wood, Missouri. He was furloughed to help his mother and family prepare for their evacuation. He is the youngest of six years children, two of them volunteers in United States Army. The mother, age 53, came from Japan 37 years ago. Her husband died 21 years ago, leaving her to raise six children. She worked in a strawberry basket factory until last year when her children leased three acres of strawberries "so she wouldn't have to work for somebody else". The family is Buddhist. This is her youngest son. Her second son is in the army stationed at Fort Bliss. 453 families are to be evacuated from this area. [Photograph by Dorothea Lange. From the National Archives.]

Businesses are being sold by owners of Japanese ancestry. Evacuation of all residents of Japanese descent from this area is due in two days.[Photograph by Dorothea Lange. From the National Archives.]

Sacramento Assembly Center, California: Constructed at a migrant workers camp 15 miles northeast of downtown Sacramento, this assembly center was also known as Walerga. It was occupied for 52 days, from May 6 to June 26, and held a total of 4,770 persons, with at maximum at one time of 4,739. Evacuees were from Sacramento and San Joaquin counties. Aerial photographs indicate there were 11 blocks with over 225 buildings (Figures 16.37 and 16.38); one block was likely devoted to the military police and administration.

[Figure 16.37. Oblique aerial view of the Sacramento Assembly Center. (from DeWitt 1943)]

[Figure 16.38. Sacramento Assembly Center. (National Archives photograph)]

[From: Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites.]

1 comment:

  1. I hope you don't stop blogging when this project ends! Are you writing for Grand Central? If not, you should be...