March 20, 1942: A crew of 400 carpenters working 10-hour shifts is hurriedly building the internment camp at Manzanar for “10,000 alien and American-born Japanese from Los Angeles and other Southern California cities,” The Times says.
“Manzanar is the former site of a fruit-growing community of the era preceding acquisition of most of the Owens Valley by the city of Los Angeles in the ’20s. The reception center administration building occupies the site of the Manzanar apple packing plant which flourished before Los Angeles reached into the high Sierra for its water supply.””… The climate is bracing and is considered as healthful as could be desired.
“With these considerations in mind, the center will furnish the Japanese with every comfort except the bright lights of Little Tokyo, from which many of them come.
“If American citizens in Japan are accommodated just one-half as considerately, they should be able to sit out the war in comfortable circumstances.”
In other home front news, retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul B. Malone is organizing the Minutemen of ’42 to help defend America in case of an invasion. “The plan is hazardous for its members, for it demands that they operate as guerrillas within enemy lines,” The Times says.
Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Joseph O. Donovan of the State Guard says hunters and other marksmen should join existing organizations and that “armed minutemen acting on their own would not be tolerated.”
Henry Methvin, who won a pardon for betraying Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow to authorities, is once again a free man after being paroled in the killing of Commerce, Okla., Police Officer Cal Campbell.
Edwin Schallert writes that two studios are fighting over the use of the movie title “Hot Rubber.”