EO 9066 Exhibition Offers Glimpse Into Past

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Above: Curator Greg Williams with wartime newspapers that reflected the racial bias of the time. Below: Archival photos from CSUDH and San Jose State University. (Photos by RYOKO OHNISHI)

By RYOKO OHNISHI, Rafu Contributor

CARSON — Letters sent to a Gila River detainee from the War Relocation Authority in 1945, a hand-drawn map of Tule Lake Segregation Center, comic books, magazines, newspapers, posters, artwork — more than 500 items that describe the lives of Japanese American detainees during World War II are exhibited at the California State University Dominguez Hills Library.

Greg Williams, director of Archives and Special Collections at CSUDH, curated the archival exhibition commemorating the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 (Feb. 19). He is also the principal investigator of the California State University Japanese American Digitization Project (http://csujad.com).

The exhibition shows a variety of archival materials donated by the South Bay Japanese American communities over the past 50 years to CSUDH and also throughout the CSU system. In addition, the exhibition includes some of Williams’ personal collection, such as his grandfather’s collection of The Grand Rapids Herald, published in Michigan. The headlines reflect the fact that U.S. newspapers at the time routinely referred to both Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans as “Japs.”

The project is led by CSUDH and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Park Service. CSUJAD is still accepting donations of materials to add the archives.

The exhibition, which opened on Feb. 9, will be on view until Friday, May 19. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Library Cultural Arts Gallery (LIB-1940). For information, call (310) 243-3895.

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