Lot 23 of 435:
1942 Japanese-American wartime internees learn their fate from Community newspaper   

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyer's Premium):$1,020
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Japanese-American internees learn their wartime fate from their Community newspaper - 3 issues of Pacific Citizen
Salt Lake City, Utah

[Larry Tajiri, editor]. Pacific Citizen weekly newspaper (Japanese-American Citizens League; Salt Lake City, Utah) June 11, 1942; Sept. 10, 1942; and Jan. 15, 1944. 8pp. each.

Of these three issues of the Japanese-American community’s weekly newspaper, the most historically-significant – and portentous – is the first, with its front page headline “WRA [War Relocation Authority]  Prepares Eight Relocation Centers / U.S. Japanese to be Resettled in Inland Farm Communities From Mississippi to Sierras”, possibly the first news by which 120,000 “evacuees” learned their wartime fate.

The Pacific Citizen, sponsored by the Japanese-American Citizens League, was first published in the 1930s in San Francisco and Seattle. After Pearl Harbor, with the looming West coast internment the newspaper editor frantically packed up his family and moved from California to Salt Lake City – hours before such “voluntary relocation” was curtailed and gave way to forced “relocation”.  The relocated newspaper became all the more important to keep the fragmented Japanese American community informed about the tragic events that would soon befall them.  Ominously, the newspaper publication was suspended from March 2 to June 3, 1942 – while the US Army organized the evacuation and laid plans for the internment. The momentous June 11 issue, was the second after publication resumed. The September 1942 issue discussed the range of issues that arose during the “relocation” – including the legal brief by then California Attorney General (and future US Supreme Court Justice) Earl Warren supporting the Army’s right to issue evacuation orders, and the first “contingent” of Japanese-Americans transferred from the “assembly center” at the Tanforan race track near San Francisco to internment in Utah. Two years later, the 1944 issue – published after Washington had approved the military service of Japanese-American soldiers in Europe – headlined a list of Nisei soldiers killed in action in the Mediteranean.

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