Santa Cruz County History - Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County



Restrictions on Axis Aliens
by Rechs Ann Pedersen

JAPANESE HERE CAN EXPECT TO BE TREATED FAIRLY, SAYS MOTOKI
"I urge all Japanese persons in the Pajaro Valley to continue with their work and industry the same as heretofore, since I am satisfied that we shall be fairly treated by the government, even though we may not be citizens of such nation," I. Motoki, secretary of the local Japanese Association... (Watsonville Morning Sun. December 9, 1941. p. 1)


December 7, 1941, a Sunday, Japan bombed the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor. The Watsonville Morning Sun carried the grim news and warned:

FDR MAY ASK FOR DECLARATION OF WAR MONDAY MORNING
Japanese bomber squadrons, torpedo planes and parachute troops attacked the United States' great naval and air bases in Hawaii at dawn Sunday, blasting furiously at warships and war installations...FBI officials said their men were ready for an expected order to round up and intern all Japanese nationals and pro-Japanese suspects in the San Francisco bay area. Such an order, if it comes, might result in a roundup of the hundreds of Japanese nationals in the Pajaro Valley. Such an order has not been issued yet. Many Japanese in this area are American citizens with only a comparatively few of the older residents being native of Japan. (Watsonville Morning Sun. December 7, 1941. p.1)

Over the next months, local residents were arrested by the FBI. (see Fear of Attack, Fear of Sabotage, Arrests). Various regulations and restrictions began right away and were followed a month later by restricted areas and evacuation.

Bank Accounts

Dec.13, 1941:

JAPANESE FUNDS FROZEN HERE, OTHER OKeh
Funds in local banks of Japanese nationals are entirely frozen under orders issued by the U.S. Treasury department. Access to their accounts is allowed for Japanese citizens, those born in this country or in American possessions, as Hawaii, and now residing here. In the case of the accounts of even the American Japanese, the banks must exercise discretion and determine that funds dispersed will not be used for the benefit of a national not licensed by the federal reserve bank. No orders have been received Friday concerning procedure for accounts of Italian and German nationals.(Santa Cruz Sentinel-News. December 13, 1941. p.2 Full-Text )

Four days later, the Federal Reserve announced that banks could conduct business with Japanese nationals who had resided continuously in the U.S. since June 17, 1940. (Watsonville Morning Sun. December 17, 1941. p. 1) However, the following articles indicates that there may still have been problems:

January 4, 1942

IMPOUNDED T.B. MONEY
The Santa Cruz County Anti-Tuberculosis Association finds itself in possession of a number of checks which it cannot cash. The Japanese residents of the entire Santa Cruz county have always been liberal and numerous contributors to the anti-tuberculosis work. When war was declared and funds of aliens in our banks tied up by federal order, the association found that it had on hand a score or more of checks with the names of Japanese upon them which cannot be cashed immediately. The Japanese have been such staunch supporters of the association that it is anticipated that every one of the checks will eventually be good. (Santa Cruz Sentinel-News. [M] January 4, 1942. p. 1)

The impact on Japanese-owned businesses and individuals is not reported in the newspapers.

Hunting and Fishing

December 27, 1941, the California Division of Fish and Game announced that no hunting or fishing licenses would be sold to enemy aliens.(Santa Cruz Sentinel-News. December 27, 1941. p.5) On the same day, the Sentinel-News carried a front page article announcing that only U.S. citizens could go into the coastal waters. This restriction took away the livelihood of many of the Italians in the area who were commercial fishermen.

December 27,1941:

... It was estimated in Santa Cruz that about 20 of the 55 fishermen will be forbidden to fish by the citizenship requirement. In Monterey, one wharf spokesman said that the citizenship requirement has put a big crimp in the local market fishing activities. He pointed out that some 125 members in his group only 14 are able to meet the new rules. (Santa Cruz Sentinel-News. December 27,1941. p. 1)

January 1, 1942:

'WAIT-WATCH' NEW POLICY OF S.C. WHARFMEN
A general attitude of hopeful waiting is on display among members of the wharf colony--fishermen, boat owners, and wharf workmen. Wartime restrictions have been imposed upon waterfront activities, bringing business almost to a standstill. (Santa Cruz Sentinel-News. December 27,1941. p.7 Full Text)

Cameras and Shortwave Radios

December 28, 1941:

EVERY ENEMY ALIEN MUST SURRENDER ALL CAMERAS AND SHORT WAVE RADIOS
Every enemy alien--Japanese, German, Italian--in Santa Cruz county, who has a camera or short wave radio set in his possession, must surrender it to the police in Santa Cruz or Watsonville, or to the sheriff's office, before 11 o'clock tomorrow morning ... The order resulted from army reports that unauthorized radio messages were being received and sent on the west coast. (Santa Cruz Sentinel-News. December 28, 1941. p. 1.)

Liquor Licenses

January 1, 1942:

JAPANESE LIQUOR PERMITS CANCELLED
Liquor Law enforcement officer Jerry O'Brien yesterday all liquor licenses held by Japanese in this district. He said there has been four Japanese holding licenses in Santa Clara County, eight in Santa Cruz county, 12 in Monterey county, and 16 in San Luis Obispo county (Santa Cruz Sentinel-News. [E] January 1, 1942. p.2)

Registering a Car

January 2, 1942, persons of Japanese ancestry who wanted to transfer ownership of an automobile or register a new one, had to provide the state of California with one of the following: certified copy of a birth certificate, or court order establishing citizenship, or signed statement made under oath stating that he/she was not an enemy, ally of enemies or a national of any enemy county or ally of any enemy county. (Santa Cruz Sentinel-News. January 2, 1942. p. 5)

Travel Restrictions and Firearms

The U.S. Department of Justice placed restrictions on travel and the ownership of firearms.

January 2, 1942:

MOVEMENT OF ALL AXIS ALIENS NOW RESTRICTED
Pajaro Valley's Japanese, German and Italian nationals must turn in all firearms in their possession to police authorities before 11 p.m. Monday, and must confine their travel to the community in which they reside unless given permission to the contrary... For nearly three weeks, Watsonville police have been receiving firearms from both Japanese nationals and citizens here following the request of the Japanese association, through I. Motoki, that they voluntarily turn in their firearms and cameras to police for the duration of the war. (Watsonville Register-Pajaronian, January 2, 1942. p.1 Full-Text)

Identification Papers and Registration

The end of January, the Federal government and the State of California required axis aliens to register.

January 29, 1942:

All Santa Cruz Japanese, German and Italian aliens, 14 years and over, today were ordered by proclamation of Gov. Culbert Olson to apply to this post office during the period Feb. 2-7 for certificates of identification. Olson's proclamation followed a similar one by President Roosevelt. (Santa Cruz Sentinel-News, January 29, 1942. [E] p. 1)

February 2, 1942:

ALIENS START TO REGISTER IN SANTA CRUZ
Between 1200 and 1500 Santa Cruz aliens of enemy nationality are expected to register this week at Santa Cruz post office under the new alien registration act effective today... [Registration period was from Feb. 2 through Feb 7.Later extended to Feb. 9] (Santa Cruz Sentinel-News. [E] February 2, 1942. p. 8)

Curfew and Further Travel Restrictions

U.S. Attorney General Francis Biddle issued new rules severely limiting the movement of axis aliens.Violators would be subject to arrest and internment.

February 4, 1942:

CURFEW HITS ALL LOCAL ALIENS; HUGH COAST AREA HIT BY NEW REGULATIONS
Italian, Japanese, and German aliens are subjected to a 9 p.m. curfew and permitted to travel only between their jobs and them home after February 24th...The curfew restrictions are:

  1. Between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. all enemy aliens shall be within the place of residence indicated on their identification certificates.
  2. At all other times they must be found only at the place of residence or employment indicated on their identification certificates, or going between these two places, or within an area of not more than five miles from the place of residence.   (Santa Cruz Sentinel-News [E] February 4, 1942. p.1. Full-Text)

During the period of voluntary evacuation, Public Proclamation No. 3 was issued on March 24, 1942. It set out new curfew and travel regulations for Axis aliens. For the first time, it established them for Japanese-Americans also.

NEW ALIEN CURFEW RULE STARTS FRIDAY
American-born Japanese of Santa Cruz and the county will go under strict curfew restrictions Friday under new orders of Lieut. Gen. John L. DeWitt, commander of the Western Defense Command. (Santa Cruz Sentinel-News. March 24, 1942. [E] p. 1. Full-Text)

Evacuation

Throughout this period of restrictions, local newspapers reported the calls/demands for the removal of aliens from the West Coast by various groups and government officials. On January 29th, the U.S. Justice Department announced plans to remove Axis aliens from specific areas in all of the eight Western States. It was the beginning of the evacuation.

>>Continue with Evacuation: The Restricted Area.


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