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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. April 28, 1942. p. 1


Working smoothly, officials at the Salinas assembly center in the rodeo grounds registered 63 Japanese from Watsonville and 423 from Salinas Monday, gave them numbers and assigned them to temporary living quarters, then made ready to receive an estimated 1050 (including 725 from Watsonville) Wednesday and another group of the same number Thursday. The remainder of local evacuees will leave Thursday.

Dr. J.C. Sharp and Dr. K.C. Sheriff of the Monterey county hospital under orders of the United States Public Health service conducted medical inspection for communicable disease - the first duty of each entrant. Among Japanese doctors assisting were Dr. K. Koda of this city. Seriously ill persons were confined to one of the three infirmaries and severe cases or emergency operations will be taken care of at the county hospital.

Each evacuee received a number when registered by the employment service at the armory. Families were ushered to barracks, sufficiently large for five average families and furnished with cots. Their first "meal" consisted of two kinds of sandwiches and tea and a hot supper was served at 5 p.m. Dining room accomodations will take care of the entire population of the center at one sitting.

An information service has been arranged by bulletin board for all evacuees with bulletins appearing in both English and Japanese and with interpreters available. Games will be encouraged as will use of musical instruments and standard wave radios. Recreational facilities are being planned. There is no ban on newspapers or magazines; a central commissary will be set up by the army to provide ordinary everyday necessities. No fires are permitted - infirmaries are heated. No pets are allowed on the premises.

Housing facilities are: 20 barracks for single men, 7 for single women; 109 family barracks, five families to each; eight kitchens with dining room capacity for 480 each; three infirmaries; eight bath houses; 16 latrines, eight for men and eight for women; two laundry buildings, each equipped with 25 double tubs; nine warehouses (six inside the race track); one post exchange building (also post office); three recreation buildings.

Wage rates applying to evacuees have not yet been determined except that under present conditions, the minimum net cash wage of the American soldier, $21 per month, will be the maximum cash wage for evacuated persons working on the projects. Evacuees, under no circumstances, will be employed in competition with American labor.

Military police outside and civilians inside take care of the security of the assembly center. Religious services are authorized.

Meanwhile, Lt.-Gen. J. L. DeWitt, commanding general of the western defense command and fourth army, Tuesday issued first orders for the evacuation of Japanese from military areas in Oregon. This includes about 1900 Japanese from the Portland section. Movement to the new assembly center at the Pacific International Livestock exposition grounds near Portland will be completed by noon, May 5.

The army Tuesday also began evacuating approximately 5310 Japanese from restricted zones in the San Francisco bay area - portions of San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties - and from two zones in Seattle, Wash. Nearly 200 Japanese, the first of a contingent of about 2500, arrived at the Tulare assembly center from Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

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