Under Executive Order 9066, Rose Sueoka could not get her clothes clean enough. After she scrubbed them in the shared, makeshift latrine of her hastily erected prison, the clothes would be mostly clean. Nobody would notice the difference. But that was not the point. She turned to her husband, Shigeru, knowing he had nothing to his name, like her, and asked him to do the impossible: make her a washboard. They were chicken farmers from Petaluma, California, and he didn’t know how to make a washboard. But Shigeru scoured their concentration camp.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor at the onset of WWII pushed America into a state of war as well as uncomfortable political and racial tension to say the least. Fearing complications with the American descendants of their new enemy, the US government forced Japanese-Americans to leave their lives and move into camps for years, only to give them a bus ticket out of state at the war’s end.
In this interview, Charlotte Schexnayder discusses the media’s influence on how people perceived the Japanese American internment camps at Rohwer and Jerome. At the time, Schexnayder was a journalist and editor of the McGehee Times. She recounts how any information concerning World War II came directly from the government, which was then relayed by news outlets to the news-hungry public.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) – Heart Mountain is a spectacular and beautiful backdrop to a story of triumph and tragedy. Seventy years ago, an internment camp filled with 10,000 Japanese Americans sat in the shadow of the mountain.
It was just a few miles outside Cody, Wyoming, where the land is rugged and the weather is brutal. It’s where American citizens were imprisoned behind barbed wire and guard towers for no other reason than because of their heritage. Eight out of 10 were from Los Angeles.
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