What Happened on March 30th – Sunshine On My Shoulders

This Wednesday when the April A to Z Challenge begins on April 1st, I’ll be writing about the Second World War every day except Sunday for 26 days.  You can see the list of subjects on my Blogging from A to Z Challenge page but today I write about someone who’s ideologies were the complete opposite of war.
John_Denver_1973
John Denver had many hits in the 1970s; however his first #1 song, “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” which reached the top of the pop charts on March 30, 1974, captured the essence of who he really was. “Sunshine On My Shoulders” was John Denver’s attempt to write a sad song, which is really all one needs to know in order to understand what made Denver so appealing to so many.
“I was so down I wanted to write a feeling-blue song,” he told Seventeen magazine in 1974, “[but] this is what came out.”
Originally released on his 1971 album Poems, Prayers and Promises, Denver’s lovely ode to the restorative powers of sunlight only became a smash hit when re-released on his John Denvers Greatest Hits album in late 1973—an album that went on to sell more than 10 million copies worldwide.
Throughtout his musical career, John Denver had his share of critics but this didn’t dampen public enthusiasm for Denver’s records. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, John Denver has sold 32.5 million records—4.5 million more than Michael Bolton, and only 4.5 million fewer than Bob Dylan.
Born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. on December 31, 1943, in Roswell, New Mexico, John Denver died in California on October 12, 1997, when his ultra-light aircraft crashed into Monterey Bay.

What Happened on March 27th – Washington D.C.’s Cherry Blossoms

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On March 27, 1912, First Lady Helen Herron Taft and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted two Yoshino cherry trees on the northern bank of the Potomac River Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. The event celebrated the Japanese government’s gift of 3,000 trees to the United States. Trees were planted along the Potomac Tidal Basin near the site of the future Jefferson Memorial, in East Potomac Park, and on the White House grounds.

The text of First Lady Taft’s letter, along with the story of the cherry trees, is available from the National Park Service’s official Cherry Blossom Festival Web site.

Fifty-three years later, the Japanese government made a second gift of 3,800 cherry trees. In 1965, Mrs. Ryuji Takeuchi, wife of Ambassador Takeuchi, and First Lady Lady Bird Johnson participated in the ceremonial planting. This time, the trees were planted on the grounds of the Washington Monument.

First Lady Ladybird Johnson planting a cherry tree at the 1965 Cherry Blossom Festival on the Tidal Basin.

First Lady Ladybird Johnson planting a cherry tree at the 1965 Cherry Blossom Festival on the Tidal Basin.

The planting of cherry trees along the Potomac fulfilled travel writer and photographer Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore’s long and determined quest. Returning from her first trip to Japan in 1885, Scidmore advanced the idea of bringing the trees to the District of Columbia with U.S. government officials. She was ignored.

In 1909, Scidmore decided to raise money for the purchase of the trees herself. She wrote of her plans to the new First Lady, Helen Herron Taft, and received an enthusiastic response. “I have taken the matter up,” the First Lady wrote Mrs. Scidmore, “and am promised the trees.” Upon learning of the First Lady’s plans, the Japanese consul in New York broached the idea of making a gift of the trees to the U.S. government.

 

#atozchallenge This Week in World War II – Jimmy Stewart in the Second World War

THIS WEEK IN WORLD WAR II

JIMMY STEWART IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR

Do you know about the annual blogging event, Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  I participated for the first time last year and plan on joining in again this year.  This year my theme will be World War II so I hope you visit my blog in April when I bring you World War II from A to Z.  You will be able to access the posts from a page dedicated to the challenge and also revisit my posts from the 2014 challenge.  Here is my April A to Z reveal post.

March 22, 1944 – American movie star Jimmy Stewart flies his 12th combat mission, leading the 2nd Bomb Wing in an attack on Berlin.  Jimmy Stewart is one of my all-time favorite Hollywood stars.  When I watch his films, I think I know him as if he’s my neighbor.  That he served in the war does not surprise me.  I would expect no less from this true American icon.
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James Maitland “Jimmy” Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997) was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive drawl voice and down-to-earth persona. Stewart was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition and receiving one Lifetime Achievement award. Stewart was named the third greatest male screen legend in cinema history by the American Film Institute. He was a major Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract star.
James Stewart's performance in Frank Capra's MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939) helped cement his image as the decent, honest Everyman, and won him his first Oscar(r) nomination.

James Stewart’s performance in Frank Capra’s MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939) helped cement his image as the decent, honest Everyman, and won him his first Oscar(r) nomination.

Jimmy Stewart had a noted military career.  He was a World War II and Vietnam War veteran, who rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Air Force Reserve.  Jimmy comes from military roots.  His grandfather fought in the American Civil War and his father served in both the Spanish-American War and World War I.With an early interest in flying, Stewart earned his private pilot certificate in 1935 and commercial pilot certificate in 1938.  Well before the United States entry into World War II, he had accumulated over 400 hours flying which included flights across the country to visit his family in Pennsylvania.
History of service: The actor came from a long line of military men who served in wars as far back as the American Revolution. Above, he stands with his father, a World War I veteran, outside their family hardware store Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2501703/Colonel-Stewart-comes-home-Rare-photos-actor-Jimmy-Stewart-returning-home-serving-pilot-World-War-II.html#ixzz3VSaGzR00  Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

History of service: The actor came from a long line of military men who served in wars as far back as the American Revolution. Above, he stands with his father, a World War I veteran, outside their family hardware store

Like Captain America :), Jimmy Stewart had difficulty enlisting in the armed services due to being underweight.  In October 1940, he was drafted into the United States Army but was rejected for being five pounds under the standard.  He sought the assistance of MGM muscle man and trainer Don Loomis and eventually passed the weigh-in to be enlisted on March 22, 1941 (several months before the US entered the war).  He was the first major American movie star to wear a military uniform in World War II.
James M. Stewart enlists as a private in the United States Army, 22 March 1941. (Los Angeles Times)

James M. Stewart enlists as a private in the United States Army, 22 March 1941. (Los Angeles Times)

He enlisted as a private, but because of his college degree and being a licensed pilot, he applied for an Air Corps commission.  On January 19, 1942, he received his commission as a second lieutenant.

Corporal James M. Stewart was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, at Moffett Field, California, 19 January 1942. (AP)

Corporal James M. Stewart was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, at Moffett Field, California, 19 January 1942. (AP)

Also like Captain America, at first Jimmy Stewart made a lot of public appearances and a recruitment film, Winning the Wings.  This resulted in 150,000 new recruits.  If you wish to watch it, it is 17:33 minutes in length.

Through 1942 and much of 1943, Jimmy Stewart struggled with the desire to see combat but having his celebrity status and his age regulate him to behind the lines.  By the summer of 1943, he was promoted to captain and appointed squadron commander but combat duty seemed far out of reach for the 35 year old.  After appealing to his commander, Stewart was assigned to the 445th Bomb Group as an operations officer of the 703d Bombardment Squadron and eventually he became its commander. 
  • The 445th Bomb Group flew to RAF Tibenham, Norfolk, England where it flew several weeks of training missions.
  • On December 13, 1943, the group flew its first combat mission to bomb U-boat facilities in Kiel, Germany.  Stewart led the high squadron of the group formation.
  • Three days later, on its second mission which was to Bremen, Stewart led the entire group.
Captain James M. Stewart, USAAF, (standing, fourth from left) commanding officer, 703rd Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 445th Bombardment Group (Heavy), with his squadron officers and a B-24 Liberator long-range heavy bomber, 1943. (U.S. Air Force)

Captain James M. Stewart, USAAF, (standing, fourth from left) commanding officer, 703rd Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 445th Bombardment Group (Heavy), with his squadron officers and a B-24 Liberator long-range heavy bomber, 1943. (U.S. Air Force)

  • Following a mission to Ludwigshafen, Germany, on January 7, 1944, Stewart was promoted to major.
  • Stewart was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions as deputy commander of the 2nd Combat Bombardment Wing on the first day of “Big Week” operations in February and flew two other missions that week.
  • On March 22, 1944, Stewart flew his 12th combat mission, leading the 2nd Bomb Wing in an attack on Berlin.
  • On March 30, 1944, he was sent to RAF Old Buckenham to become group operations officer of the 453rd Bombardment Group, a new B-24 unit that had just lost both its commander and operations officer on missions.
  • Stewart flew as command pilot in the lead B-24 on several missions deep into Nazi-occupied Europe.
  • As a staff officer, Stewart was assigned to the 453rd “for the duration” and assigned himself as a combat crewman on the group’s missions until his promotion to lieutenant colonel on June 3
  • Reassignment on July 1, 1944, to the 2nd Bomb Wing, assigned as executive officer to Brigadier General Edward J. Timberlake.
Lieutenant Colonel James M. Stewart, USAAF, executive officer, 2nd Bombardment Wing, post mission, 23 July 1944. (U.S. Air Force)

Lieutenant Colonel James M. Stewart, USAAF, executive officer, 2nd Bombardment Wing, post mission, 23 July 1944. (U.S. Air Force)

  • His official tally of mission credits while assigned to the 445th and 453rd Bomb Groups totaled 20 sorties.

Stewart continued to make missions, uncredited, flying with the pathfinder squadron of the 389th Bombardment Group, with his two former groups, and with groups of the 20th Combat Bomb Wing. He received a second award of the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions in combat and was awarded the Croix de Guerre.

Receiving French Croix de Guerre with Palm in 1944

Receiving French Croix de Guerre with Palm in 1944

He also received the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters. Stewart served in a number of staff positions in the 2nd and 20th Bomb Wings between July 1944 and the end of the war in Europe, and was promoted to full colonel on March 29, 1945.  On May 10, 1945, he succeeded to command of the 2nd Bomb Wing, a position he held until June 15.  Stewart was one of the few Americans to rise from private to colonel in four years.

Jimmy Stewart continued to play a role in the United States Air Force Reserve after the war. Stewart received permanent promotion to colonel in 1953 and served as Air Force Reserve commander of Dobbins Air Reserve Base. He was also one of the 12 founders and a charter member of the Air Force Association in October 1945.On July 23, 1959, Stewart was promoted to Brigadier General.
During his active duty periods, he remained current as a pilot of Convair B-36 Peacemaker, Boeing B-47 Stratojet and B-52 Stratofortress intercontinental bombers of the Strategic Air Command. On February 20, 1966, Brigadier General Stewart flew as a non-duty observer in a B-52 on an Arc Light bombing mission during the Vietnam War. At the time of his B-52 flight, he refused the release of any publicity regarding his participation, as he did not want it treated as a stunt, but as part of his job as an officer in the Air Force Reserve. After 27 years of service, Stewart retired from the Air Force on May 31, 1968. He was promoted to major general on the retired list by President Ronald Reagan.
Jimmy Stewart wasn’t the only movie star that went war.  Here is a wonderful pinterest board about celebrities that went to war.

What Happened on March 25th – Yosemite Valley

The area we know as the Yosemite Valley has a history of over 3,000 years.  The people indigenous to the region were the Sierra Miwok, Mono, Paiute and other Native American groups.  When the European Americans came, the Sierra Nevada region of California was the home of Native Americans called the Ahwahnechee.  The California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century brought much change including an increase of people not native to the region.  This increase lead to conflicts between natives and white settlers.  During the Mariposa War, Settler James Savage led the Mariposa Battalion into Yosemite Valley on March 25, 1851, in pursuit of Ahwaneechees led by Chief Tenaya. The battalion, especially from Dr. Lafayette Bunnell, popularized Yosemite Valley because it was spectacular site to see.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Yosemite_area

Yosemite_Valley_from_Inspiration_Point_in_Yosemite_NPThe Mariposa Battalion first viewed Yosemite Valley near Inspiration Point. Photo from 2003.

Lafayette_Bunnell_1880Dr. Lafayette Bunnell named many of the features in the area of the park, including Yosemite Valley.

Photo from his 1880 book, Discovery of the Yosemite, and the Indian War of 1851, which led to that event

640px-Galen_Clark_in_the_Big_Tree_GroveGalen Clark, the first guardian of Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove, pictured in front of the Grizzly Giant Tree, Mariposa Grove around 1858-9.

I created this slideshow from photographs labeled as authorized for non-commercial reuse.  There were so many beautiful photographs to choose. I eventually had to force my self to stop adding.

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I previously wrote about the dedication of Yosemite as a National Park

What Happened on March 24th – Tuberculosis’ Cause

On March 24, 1882, Robert Heinrich Herman Koch published his findings on tuberculosis, in which he reported the causative agent of the disease to be the slow-growing Mycobacterium tuberculosis. 

"Robert Koch BeW" by Unknown - http://ihm.nlm.nih.gov/images/B16692. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Robert_Koch_BeW.jpg#/media/File:Robert_Koch_BeW.jpg

“Robert Koch BeW” by Unknown – http://ihm.nlm.nih.gov/images/B16692. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Robert_Koch_BeW.jpg#/media/File:Robert_Koch_BeW.jpg

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a pathogenic bacterial species in the family Mycobacteriaceae. M. tuberculosis has an unusual, waxy coating on its cell surface (primarily due to the presence of mycolic acid), which makes the cells impervious to Gram staining.

"TB Culture" by Photo Credit:Content Providers(s): CDC/Dr. George Kubica - This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #4428.Note: Not all PHIL images are public domain; be sure to check copyright status and credit authors and content providers.English | Slovenščina | +/−. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TB_Culture.jpg#/media/File:TB_Culture.jpg

“TB Culture” by Photo Credit:Content Providers(s): CDC/Dr. George Kubica – This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #4428.Note: Not all PHIL images are public domain; be sure to check copyright status and credit authors and content providers.English | Slovenščina | +/−. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TB_Culture.jpg#/media/File:TB_Culture.jpg

His work with this disease won Koch the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1905. Additionally, Koch’s research on tuberculosis, along with his studies on tropical diseases, won him the Prussian Order Pour le Merite in 1906 and the Robert Koch medal, established to honor the greatest living physicians, in 1908.

Robert Heinrich Herman Koch (11 December 1843 – 27 May 1910) was a celebrated German physician and pioneering microbiologist. The founder of modern bacteriology, he is also known for his role in identifying the specific causative agents of cholera, and anthrax and for giving experimental support for the concept of infectious disease. In addition to his trail-blazing studies on these diseases, Koch created and improved laboratory technologies and techniques in the field of microbiology, and made key discoveries in public health. His research led to the creation of Koch’s postulates, a series of four generalized principles linking specific microorganisms to specific diseases that remain today the “gold standard” in medical microbiology.

I have limited knowledge of biology and health sciences but I think a big thank you is in order for Robert Heinrich Herman Koch.

The Great and Powerful @AprilA2Z Theme Reveal Blogfest! – World War II from #atozchallenge

WORLD WAR II FROM A TO Z

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April is almost here and many bloggers around the world are gearing up for the challenge.  Although it is not required, many will choose a special theme for this month long challenge.  Those of you who have been to my website before, know that outside of the short stories, haikus and flash fiction, my blog’s theme is history.  Although not always serious points in history, I do touch on some very important events that have shaped our world.  One such event that I often write about is the Second World War.  For me, it is near and dear to my heart as my father served in the US Navy during the war.  I have a separate blog dedicated to my father and his ship, the USS Hornet (CV-12).  I hope you’ll find time to visit that blog too.  There is a direct link on the left or a menu at the top of the page.  During the A to Z Challenge, my posts for each letter will appear on my home page and also as a link from my page dedicated directly to the challenge.  It can be accessed via the menu at the top of the page.  Be sure to come back during April to learn about Armed Forces Radio, the Gestapo, Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, Women in the Armed Services and much much more.  Until then, please enjoy the famous music from the era (skip through to find your favorite.  Mine is The White Cliffs of Dover).

 

#poetry Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge – The Ballad of Our Dance

Submitted for Sunday Photo Fiction

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Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly flash fiction challenge where participants submit stories based on a photograph presented by Joe Owens.  There is a link above where you can submit your story and read those submitted by others.  Lately I have been on a trend with this challenge to try my hand at different types of poetry.  Today please enjoy, The Ballad of Our Dance.

333Photo Credit: Joe Owens

The Ballad of Our Dance

I move alone since you left the dance floor

Music muted, you waltzed through heaven’s door

Among family and friends, I am still alone

I’d have danced with you, had I’d known

 

In our dance, I was never coy

Like jitterbugs, we moved through life with joy

The war intervened, as it would

You returned and life was good

 

Life went on, us full of bliss

Sometimes we strolled but often with a twist

Next came the children, our family of five

Smiling faces and lots of hand jive

 

The decade that followed we twisted again

Joining our kids dancing the Madison

Another war came and threatened our boy

Like you he came home and didn’t redeploy

 

Our kids grew up and moved away

We did the hustle to keep old age at bay

Through the years, we each had our faults

In the end we perfected our waltz

What Happened on March 22nd – Lord Stanley’s Cup

"Premiere Coupe Stanley 1893" by Unknown - Library and Archives Canada. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Premiere_Coupe_Stanley_1893.jpg#/media/File:Premiere_Coupe_Stanley_1893.jpg

“Premiere Coupe Stanley 1893″ by Unknown – Library and Archives Canada. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Premiere_Coupe_Stanley_1893.jpg#/media/File:Premiere_Coupe_Stanley_1893.jpg

On March 22, 1894, the first championship series for Lord Stanley’s Cup is played in Montreal, Canada. Today this trophy is one of the most recognized symbols of sports achievement.

Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, lord of Preston and the 16th earl of Derby

Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, lord of Preston and the 16th earl of Derby

The Stanley Cup was the creation of Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, lord of Preston and the 16th earl of Derby. Stanley was of noble birth, the son of a three-time prime minister of England. He served in Canada’s House of Commons from 1865 until he was named governor general of Canada in 1888. Stanley became an ice hockey fan after watching an 1889 game at the Montreal Winter Carnival. Stanley’s family, sons and daughters alike, also became enraptured with the game that had taken Montreal’s sporting public by storm since its introduction in 1875. In honor of the new sport, Lord Stanley then donated a lavish trophy to the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. The trophy, originally called the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, was first presented in 1893 to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) team, champions of the Amateur Hockey Association. Stanley had intended for the cup to be presented to the winner of a challenge series, or tournament, so in 1894 it was given to the Montreal AAA team upon their defeat of the Ottawa Generals in the championship round of a tournament specifically created to award the Cup as Lord Stanley had intended.

Since 1926, the Stanley Cup has been awarded solely by the National Hockey League every year except 2005, when the NHL was on strike. The original trophy that Lord Stanley donated was retired in 1962. Since then, only one trophy has served in its place, making the Stanley Cup the only trophy in major sports that is not reproduced each year. When a team wins the Cup, they are allowed to hold on to the trophy for one year, and the name of every player, coach and front-office employee is inscribed onto it. (In 1954, Detroit Red Wings owner Marguerite Norris, a former goaltender, became the first woman to have her name engraved on the cup.)

Marguerite Norris

Marguerite Norris

 

Each player and front-office employee of the champion team is given 24 hours with the Cup, which they can take anywhere, along with the its full-time escorts, provided by the Hockey Hall of Fame. Since 1895, when the Winnipeg Victorias began the tradition of drinking from the Cup, people have filled it with everything from beer to bath water as they celebrate with friends, family and the public. In its travels, the Stanley Cup has been thrown into swimming pools, taken fishing, played host to a baby’s christening and been drunk from across Canada, the United States and Europe.

Jimmy Kimmel serves margaritas in the Stanley Cup

Jimmy Kimmel serves margaritas in the Stanley Cup

Here is a humorous article about the 10 strangest places the cup has gone. http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/the-10-oddest-places-the-stanley-cup-has-ever-visited?urn=nhl,wp6036

Flyers

Many Stanley Cup statistics can be seen here.

The World’s Outstanding Women (WOW): Dr. Karen Gaffney

WOMENS-symbol

Throughout history women have made their mark in a wide variety of ways.  Each Saturday I plan to highlight one of these remarkable women.  There will be no limit to the areas of history that I may include; however as a guide I will look to the month of their birth, the month of their death or the month associated with their mark in history when I select them.  Is there an outstanding women in history you would like me to include?  I welcome your suggestions.  You can access all the previous postings of these remarkable women from the menu at the top of my site.

Today is World Down Syndrome Day, so I honor an outstanding woman in advocacy.  Meet Dr. Karen Gaffney.

photo10bDr. Karen Gaffney

Karen Gaffney is the president of the Karen Gaffney Foundation, a non-profit organization headquartered in Portland, Oregon “dedicated to championing the journey to full inclusion for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities.” In 2001 she became the first person with Down syndrome to complete a relay swim of the English Channel. Her 2007 swim across the nine mile span of Lake Tahoe became the subject of the documentary Crossing Tahoe: A Swimmer’s Dream. In 2009 she swam across Boston Harbor, a distance of five miles, to celebrate Down Syndrome Month in Massachusetts. She has also earned two gold medals from the Special Olympics, and completed 16 swims across San Francisco Bay, including the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. In 2010, she received the Global Down Syndrome Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award.

karen on sand after swim1-webKaren Gaffney after the Lake Tahoe Challenge

Karen Gaffney became the first living person with Down syndrome to receive an honorary doctorate degree when she received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Portland on May 5th, 2013, for her work in raising awareness regarding the abilities of people who have Down syndrome.

5-5-13-up-honorary-doctorate

Karen Gaffney graduated from St. Mary’s Academy high school in Portland in 1997, and in 2001 she graduated from Portland Community College with an Associate of Science degree and a teacher’s aide certificate.

This Week in World War II – War Relocation Authority

Murderers Row US Aircraft Carriers of Task Force 58THIS WEEK IN WORLD WAR II

WAR RELOCATION AUTHORITY

Do you know about the annual blogging event, Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  I participated for the first time last year and plan on joining in again this year.  This year my theme will be World War II so I hope you visit my blog in April when I bring you World War II from A to Z.  You will be able to access the posts from a page dedicated to the challenge and also revisit my posts from the 2014 challenge.

On March 18, 1942, the War Relocation Authority is created to “Take all people of Japanese descent into custody, surround them with troops, prevent them from buying land, and return them to their former homes at the close of the war.”

Anger toward and fear of Japanese Americans began in Hawaii shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor; everyone of Japanese ancestry, old and young, prosperous and poor, was suspected of espionage. This suspicion quickly broke out on the mainland; as early as February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered that German, Italian, and Japanese nationals—as well as Japanese Americans—be barred from certain areas deemed sensitive militarily. California, which had a significant number of Japanese and Japanese Americans, saw a particularly virulent form of anti-Japanese sentiment, with the state’s attorney general, Earl Warren (who would go on to be the chief justice of the United States), claiming that a lack of evidence of sabotage among the Japanese population proved nothing, as they were merely biding their time.

Japs Keep Moving

While roughly 2,000 people of German and Italian ancestry were interned during this period, Americans of Japanese ancestry suffered most egregiously. The War Relocation Authority, established on March 18, 1942, was aimed at them specifically: 120,000 men, women, and children were rounded up on the West Coast. Three categories of internees were created: Nisei (native U.S. citizens of Japanese immigrant parents), Issei (Japanese immigrants), and Kibei (native U.S. citizens educated largely in Japan). The internees were transported to one of 10 relocation centers in California, Utah, Arkansas, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, and Wyoming.

 

The quality of life in a relocation center was only marginally better than prison: Families were sardined into 20- by 25-foot rooms and forced to use communal bathrooms. No razors, scissors, or radios were allowed. Children attended War Relocation Authority schools.

One Japanese American, Gordon Hirabayashi, fought internment all the way to the Supreme Court. He argued that the Army, responsible for effecting the relocations, had violated his rights as a U.S. citizen. The court ruled against him, citing the nation’s right to protect itself against sabotage and invasion as sufficient justification for curtailing his and other Japanese Americans’ constitutional rights.

images8637N0LN

In 1943, Japanese Americans who had not been interned were finally allowed to join the U.S. military and fight in the war. More than 17,000 Japanese Americans fought; the all-Nisei 442nd Regiment, which fought in the Italian campaign, became the single most decorated unit in U.S. history. The regiment won 4,667 medals, awards, and citations, including 1 Medal of Honor, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 560 Silver Stars. Many of these soldiers, when writing home, were writing to relocation centers.

hawaii-pearl-harbor-442nd-reg-combat-team

Newly enlisted soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team gathered on March 28, 1943 in front of the historic Iolani Palace at the heart of downtown Honolulu for a memorable farewell ceremony.

 

In 1990, reparations were made to surviving internees and their heirs in the form of a formal apology by the U.S. government and a check for $20,000.

When actor, George Takei was 5 years old, he and his family were forced to leave their home and move to Santa Anita Assembly Center, where they would eventually be transferred to Rohwer Relocation Center in Arkansas. Takei was among 110,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans who were sent to internment camps under Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. Signed on Feb. 19, 1942, the order granted the U. S.