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Farms of the Future: The Work of Laurence I. Hewes, Jr. - Part 2

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Farms of the Future: The Work of Laurence I. Hewes, Jr. - Part 1

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The incarceration of Japanese Americans, in addition to being a product of years of racial hatred against Asian immigrants and economic profiteering by West Coast interest groups, represents an uncomfortable legacy of New Deal governance. Following Executive Order 9066, dozens of New Deal bureaucrats took up work as staffers for …

Linus Pauling: Advisor and Advocate

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In a previous article for Discover Nikkei, I profiled the life work of Harvey Itano, the first Japanese American student to leave camp, who became a pioneering researcher of sickle-cell anemia. During his graduate studies at the California Institute of Technology (or Cal Tech), Itano worked with the distinguished scientist …

How fair is “Fair Enough?” Westbrook Pegler and Japanese Americans - Part 2

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How fair is “Fair Enough?” Westbrook Pegler and Japanese Americans - Part 1

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On March 28, 1945, the Manzanar Free Press ran a remarkable article relating to Japanese Americans. In discussing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Korematsu vs. United States, the text cited the noted (and notorious) newspaperman Westbrook Pegler, who had proclaimed in his nationally syndicated column “Fair …

One of Berkeley’s Finest: Harvey Itano and his work on Sickle Cell Anemia

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A number of Japanese Americans have distinguished themselves within the ranks of academia. From famed sociologist Tamotsu Shibutani to the members of the Manzanar guayule project, Japanese American scholars in a variety of fields saw their careers shaped by the wartime incarceration. One such individual, who rose to the top …

A Journey to Guadalupe

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One of the more difficult questions historians are asked is not about history itself, but their work as historians: “Why do you write about this topic?” Of course, like other people who study history, I do so for a variety of reasons, whether to understand broader issues affecting society or …

Auld Lang Syne in the Desert and Swamp: New Year’s in Camp

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The holidays are a special time of unity, with the end of each year bringing senses of joy and reflectiveness. For Japanese Americans experiencing incarceration during World War II, the New Year’s holiday elicited a number of responses that reflected both the importance of the traditional festivities and the anxieties …

Power Failure: The Journey of a Utility Bill to Fort Missoula

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When a collections representative for Pacific Gas and Electric sent out a regular utility bill to Mr. Yoshiyuki Akiyama of San Francisco in late January 1942, the company received no reply. Mr. Akiyama, a former resident of Apartment 5 of 1920 Pine St., San Francisco, was unable to respond. Earlier …

Posh Writings on Prisons in the West: The New Yorker’s Take on Japanese American Incarceration

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In the wake of the Los Angeles Times’s recent self-reflection on the place of racism in its past, it is worth considering how mainstream publications covered historical events in American history associated with race and civil rights. One issue that inspired a wide range of responses was the mass removal …

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