SACRAMENTO, June 29, 2018 – Today, the California State Archives released its latest online exhibit, “California State Government and Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II”. Funding for this project was provided by the California State Library’s California Civil Liberties Public Education Program Grant. This program sponsors public education to promote remembrance, understanding, and awareness of the exclusion, forced removal, and incarceration of Japanese Americans and residents of Japanese descent during World War II.
“World War II marks one of the darkest periods in our state’s history,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “As the United States prepared for war, Japanese Americans were stripped of their fundamental rights and liberties as they endured mass incarceration for more than two years. Families faced loss of liberty and livelihood. Japanese Americans lost everything as they were forced to sell their homes, businesses, and other possessions for pennies on the dollar and live behind barbed wire for the duration of the war. This new exhibit tells the story of incarceration using a vast array of original state records and documents. Our nation continues to grapple with the injustice of internment and the defense of civil liberties for all.”
In addition to the exhibit, the State Archives has curated an online collection of documents related to internment. This is the State Archives’ first exhibit/collection hybrid completed through the Omeka platform. There are 483 items in this exhibit/collection, which includes records from the Department of Agriculture, State Personnel Board, Secretary of State, Department of Justice and Attorney General’s Office, Patrick Johnston Papers, and other ephemera collections.

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