Early Comer

Date:
6-Apr-42
Creator:
Dorothea Lange

Taken in San Francisco, CA. "An early comer arrives with personal effects at 2020 Van Ness Avenue as part of the contingent of 664 residents of Japanese ancestry, first to be evacuated from San Francisco on April 6, 1942. Evacuees will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration."

Description (physical):

B&W Photograph

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
A-87
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site

Exclusion Orders

Date:
11-Apr-42
Creator:
Dorothea Lange

Taken in San Francisco, CA. "On a brick wall beside air raid shelter poster, exclusion orders were posted at First and Front Streets directing removal of persons of Japanese ancestry from the first San Francisco section to be affected by evacuation. The order was issued April 1, 1942, by Lieutenant General J. L. DeWitt, and directed evacuation from this section by noon on April 7, 1942. Evacuees will be housed in War Relocation Authority Centers for the duration." Following the signing of Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, signs like this one were posted in neighborhoods all over the West Coast. Japanese Americans' lives were about to change forever.

Description (physical):

B&W Photograph

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
WRA No. 40
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site

"I Am An American" Sign On Store Front

Date:
Mar-42
Creator:
Dorothea Lange

Taken in San Francisco, CA. "A large sign reading "I am an American" placed in the window of a store, at 13th and Franklin streets, on December 8, the day after Pearl Harbor. The store was closed following orders to persons of Japanese descent to evacuate from certain West Coast areas. The owner, a University of California graduate, will be housed with hundreds of evacuees in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration of the war."

Description (physical):

B&W Photograph

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
WRA No. A-35
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site

Construction Begins At Manzanar

Date:
2-Apr-42
Creator:
Clem Albers

"Construction begins at Manzanar, now a War Relocation Authority Center for evacuees of Japanese ancestry, in Owens Valley, flanked by the High Sierras and Mt. Whitney, loftiest peak in the United States." In his 1942 caption, photographer Clem Albers made the common mistake of confusing Mt. Williamson with Mt. Whitney which is not visible from Manzanar.

Description (physical):

B&W Photograph

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
WRA No. B-99
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site

Peacoat

Date:
18-Apr-05

Surplus World War I Navy pea coats were distributed to Manzanar internees who tailored them to fit men, women, and children. This coat belonged to Jim Makino who later joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

Description (physical):

Wool. L 85, W 85 cm (overall)

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
MANZ 3086
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site

Permit To Live Anywhere In The U.s. Notice

This form letter notified the Matsumura family that they were permitted to live anywhere in the United States and that reloaction centers would close by January 3, 1946. In stating why he was going to relocate, Shutaro Matsumura observed, “Concentration camp life is an abnormal wartime manner of living which is definitely hindering the progress in education of the Nisei evacuee.” The gates to limited freedom for Japanese Americans began to swing open in 1943 when the WRA settled on a relocation policy. Internees had to secure employment and a sponsor in the community where they intended to settle, as well as a spotless security record. Many Caucasians, especially the Quakers, helped to find communities ready to accept Japanese Americans. Unable to return to the West Coast until January 1945, many internees settled in Midwestern and Eastern cities where there was more employment and less prejudice. Shutaro Matsumura was one of 3,500 internees from Manzanar who applied for, and obtained “leave clearance.” He chose to go to New York. As these forms illustrate, the paperwork associated with relocating was mountainous, and took months to process. On October 24, Mr. Matsumura and his wife met the bus outside Manzanar with a rail ticket, $25 in expense money, and the good wishes of the United States Government.

Description (physical):

Paper

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
MANZ 0055/03-002#01
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site