Feb. 3, 1942: The FBI, police and sheriff’s deputies round up 336 “alien Japanese fishermen” on Terminal Island.
“Operating with machine-like efficiency, the FBI agents, headed by J.W. Vincent, in charge of operations, had prepared lists of the names and addresses of all those for whom warrants had been issued,” The Times says.
But that’s not good enough. The Los Angeles County Defense Council wants to round up “all enemy aliens INCLUDING AMERICAN-BORN JAPANESE UNABLE TO PROVE THEY DO NOT HOLD DUAL CITIZENSHIP.”
After chiding the government for taking so long to round up the Japanese, The Times editorial page says:
“This is a necessary measure, as much for the protection of enemy aliens as for the protection of the United States, and well-disposed aliens will comply with the regulations to the letter. Others will feel the weight of the law. This is war.”
An unidentified California congressman said: “There is no hatred for the Japanese on the Pacific Coast and the demands for ordinary precautions in this situation represent neither hysteria nor any attempts at reprisal for what happened at Pearl Harbor.”
Jimmie Fidler says: Dorothy Lamour has inaugurated the idea of giving Defense Stamps as tips.
War brings out the absolutely worst in people. Regardless of the side they are on. America’s treatment of Japanese Americans was worse than deplorable. It seems that we have learned nothing from our past. Except to repeat it.
That $112,500 salary Joan Crawford donated would be over $1.4 million today.