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


Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. April 30, 1942. p. 1

LAST JAPANESE LEAVE VALLEY IN EVACUATION

County Cleared of 1200 By Noon; New Order Hits Oakland

Some 500 more Japanese boarded buses here Thursday morning to leave the Pajaro valley for the duration of the war.

By noon Thursday, no person of Japanese ancestry remained in Santa Cruz county for the first time in more than a half-century. This county's 1200 Japanese and Japanese-Americans, together with about 1300 from Monterey county, were housed in the army's assembly center at the Salinas rodeo grounds, ready for transportation later to resettlement areas farther inland.

Twenty-one buses Wednesday took 689 persons to Salinas, it was reported by John L. Sutton, federal employment office director here who assisted other federal officials and army men in directing the evacuation. Five aged and invalids were taken to Salinas by ambulance. The movement was executed smoothly. Transfer of the remaining 500 Japanese was begun shortly after 8:30 a.m.Thursday, and by noon the entire group had been checked in at Salinas.

Accepting their new surroundings as a matter of wartime necessity, the Japanese went smilingly about their task of setting up new living quarters at the former rodeo grounds. Clothes lines made their appearance early in front of the barracks where single persons and family groups were housed. The evacuees were highly pleased with the quality of the food served them under direction of Japanese cooks.

Meanwhile an additional 5100 Japanese in Alameda, Contra Costa and Los Angeles counties were ordered removed by the army to assembly centers by noon Thursday, May 7. To date, total of 35,000 Japanese had either moved or were in the process of being moved from coastal areas. There are an estimated 110,000 Japanese in prohibited coastal districts.

Sutton expressed his thanks and those of other governmental branches connected with the evacuation to the police department and other city officials for their cooperation and to the board of governors of the Veterans' Memorial building for the use of the large structure. "The Veterans' building was ideal for the purpose and is the only building in Watsonville which would have been large enough," he said. He also thanked Lt. Carl E. Gilmore, in charge of the military police detail, for his cooperation.

He declared that a total of 216 groups - 1199 Japanese in all - had been evacuated. One child, suffering from pneumonia, remained in the county hospital but will be moved to Salinas as soon as possible, he said.

Copyrighted by the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian. Reproduced by permission.