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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Dec. 18, 1944. p. 1


With Gov. Earl Warren calling upon all chiefs of police and sheriffs in California to "join in uniform compliance to prevent intemperate action," west coast residents Monday prepared for the return of Japanese aliens and citizens of Japanese descent after two and a half years of enforced absence.

Some California legislators predicted violence from lifting of mass exclusion orders against the Japanese, the United Press reported.

Chief of Police Matt Graves of Watsonville said Monday morning he had not yet received official notification from Gov. Warren and had no statement.

Maj.-Gen. Henry C. Pratt, acting commanding general of the Western Defense command, in announcing lifting of the two and one half year old mass exclusion orders late Sunday said:

"I expect some minor incidents but nothing that will require military intervention."

Pratt said that after Jan. 2 all Japanese evacuees whose loyalty has been proven will be permitted to return to their homes, apparently ending a nationwide controversy over constitutionality of the mass exclusion order of March 2, 1942.

State Sen. Hugh P. Donnelly, chairman of a California state senate fact finding committee on Japanese resettlement said he "bitterly regretted" the war department order, and said it might lead to "bloodshed and violence." The committee held a hearing here last year.

Leaders of American Legion posts and other groups opposed to the return of the Japanese to the west coast, however, while reiterating their opposition to the return of the Japanese, indicated they would abide by the order.

Gov. Warren, in a proclamation, asked the people of California to comply with the army order.

Public unrest resulting from "intemperate action," Gov. Warren said, will retard the war effort. He emphasized it was "the most important function of citizenship as well as government to protect constitutional rights and to maintain order."

Assemblyman Chester Gannon, R., Sacramento, chairman of the California committee on Japanese problems, predicted the Japanese government might attempt to smuggle in agents "by submarines" to mingle unobserved with Japanese-Americans. "There's going to be plenty of trouble," Gannon said. "The anti-Japanese feeling on the Pacific coast is not engendered by the war alone - it is something that has prevailed for years."

Mayor Fletcher Bowron of Los Angeles warned of the possibility of "race riots" if returning Japanese attempted to evict tenants.

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