Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the forced relocation of Japanese Americans living on the West Coast with Executive Order 9066. Over the spring of 1942, some 120,000 Japanese Americans were "evacuated" and placed into temporary "assembly centers" before being transferred to more permanent and isolated "relocation centers" like the Granada War Relocation Center in southeast Colorado, also known as Camp Amache.
The CU Boulder Archives hold a number of collections that document what are now referred to as the Japanese Internment Camps. Some of these collections are:
- The Amache: Patriotism and Prejudice Research Project collection contains interviews with seven Japanese families relocated to the Amache Camp, Granada, Colorado, during World War II.
- Roxie Bennett was a teacher in Los Angeles, California, at the time of the Japanese relocation and internment in 1942. The Roxie E. Bennett collection contains files of newspapers sent to her from several relocation camps by former students. There are also pamphlets on the camps at Granada, Colorado, and in Arizona and California.
- Mariagnes Aya Medrud was an internee at the Idaho Mindoka Internment Camp. After her family’s release (her father was held by the FBI for most of their internment) she went to New York State, then went on to work for the United States government in occupied Japan. During her life she was a school teacher and also heavily into activism on the behalf of Japanese Americans and Native Americans. She was a graduate of CU Boulder. Her papers include scrapbooks from the internment camp, genealogical information, family photographs and records pertaining to volunteer organizations.
- The Grayce Nakesone Scott collection contains papers of Grayce Nakasone Scott, who was a sensei at the US Navy Japanese Language School, which was located at the University of Colorado in Boulder from 1942-1946. The collection contains materials related to her WWII service as an instructor.
- The John M. Yumoto collection consists of papers kept in a scrapbook by John Masayuki Yumoto pertaining to the period in which he taught for the US Navy Japanese/Oriental Language School. John M. Yumoto was a Sensei at the US Navy US Navy Japanese/Oriental Language School at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1942-1945. He accompanied the US Navy Oriental Language School’s move to Oklahoma A&M in 1945. In 1946, Yumoto began working as an instructor at the Military Intelligence Language School in Monterey, California. John M. Yumoto moved to San Mateo, California in 1952 to work for the Defense Department as an efficiency expert until he retired in 1976.
The University of Colorado Boulder Libraries will celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Archives on June 6, 2018. This is story #78 in our series: 100 Stories for 100 Years from the Archives!