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9 War Relocation Authority centers, including the Tule Lake Segregation Center of northern California. Over 35,000—or nearly one-third of the total group that had come under War Relocation Authority's custodianship—had left the centers over a period of more than 2 years to take up residence in cities and towns all the way from Spokane, Wash. to Boston, Mass. Of the 80,000 who still remained, the War Relocation Authority calculated that approximately 20,000, consisting mainly of Tule Lake residents, would be either personally designated for detention by the War and Justice Departments or members of the detainees' immediate families. This left a total of 60,000 who had to be assisted in making the transition back to private life before the end of December 1945. Thus the War Relocation Authority was faced on January 2 with the task of completing in 1 year almost twice the volume of relocation which it had managed over the preceding 2-year period.
Several factors, however, tended to reduce the magnitude and complexity of the job. Aside from the skill which War Relocation Authority personnel had gradually gained in relocation after 2 years of intensive experience, there was the overwhelming fact of the Army's revocation order. No longer was it necessary for the average center resident to choose between remaining in the restrictive environment of a center and striking out into an unfamiliar section of the country; the great majority were now free, if they wished, to return to their former homes. Moreover, public acceptance for people of Japanese descent through the country was probably at an all-time high. The remarkable exploits of Japanese American soldiers in every major theater of war-and particularly on the Italian front-had effectively exploded the old cliche that no persons of Japanese ancestry can possibly be loyal to the United States. The excellent work record and exemplary civic behavior of nearly all resettlers from the centers had served further to dispel previous fears and antagonisms. With employment opportunities still running high and with citizen groups (as well as previous resettlers) working to help relocation in almost every major city of the Nation, the stage was set for a record movement out of War Relocation Authority centers and completion of the assignment within the scheduled time.
In order to prepare for a greatly enlarged volume of relocation and a rapidly dwindling center population, the War Relocation Authority on the day after the revocation announcement revised somewhat drastically its whole program of center operations. All activities except those which were absolutely essential and those which contributed toward relocation were scheduled for termination at the earliest feasible date. Construction was brought virtually to a standstill and even maintenance work was sharply curtailed. Crop production on the agricultural lands of the centers was eliminated
entirely except for completion of the winter vegetable program at the two centers in Arizona. All further purchase of livestock was halted and plans were made for full utilization of existing flocks and herds. Announcement was made that center schools would close permanently in June at the end of the academic year. Cooperative business enterprises, operated by the evacuee residents, were advised to start planning at once for eventual liquidation. By the end of June practically all of these changes had either been achieved or were well on the way to realization.
In submitting budget estimates to the Bureau of the Budget and the Congress shortly after announcement of the West coast revocation, the War Relocation Authority forecast that 16,000 of the 60,000 "relocatable” persons who could be relocated and who were residing in centers on January 2 would leave before the end of June. The actual number who relocated during that period was 15,907. Of this number, 4,922 returned to the evacuated zone while the remaindermany of them dependent family members following their previously relocated breadwinners-chose to resettle in other parts of the Nation. When the fiscal year ended, the total number of relocations for the preceding 12 months stood at 24,679 and the cumulative total covering the entire period since establishment of the War Relocation Authority program was 51,412. Of the 44,000 “relocatables” still residing in centers, it was anticipated that fully half would ultimately return to their communities of prewar residence in the far Western States.
Field Organization One of the first steps which the War Relocation Authority took after revocation of the exclusion orders was to set up a field organization in the West Coast States similar to that which had previously been functioning throughout the rest of the country. Dividing the coastal region into three broad areas-northern California, southern California, and the northwest—the Authority established its principal field offices at San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. District offices, to handle relocation problems at the local level, were also created in these three cities as well as in 15 others such as Fresno, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, and Portland. Meanwhile the activities of field offices in several other sections of the country were slightly curtailed and four of these offices were discontinued.
Public Acceptance Except in some parts of the Pacific coastal area, public acceptance of relocating evacuees was not a major problem of the War Relocation Authority during the fiscal year. Of the nearly 20,000 evacuees
who left relocation centers for destinations outside the former exclusion zone, less than a dozen reported any serious difficulties of community adjustment, and all of these cases were eventually worked out satisfactorily.
In many communities of California, Washington, and Oregon, however, hostility toward the evacuated people and opposition to their return assumed serious and rather widespread proportions. This was particularly true in the interior agricultural valleys of all three States and in some rural sections along the California coast; acceptance in the major coastal cities, aside from some attempts at boycott of evacuee crops in the produce markets, was generally good throughout the entire period.
After revocation of the exclusion ban, antievacuee feelings, which had been simmering throughout the fall, suddenly erupted simultaneously at several places in the coastal States. At first they took the comparatively harmless (but nontheless reprehensible) form of hostile “mass” meetings, resolutions adopted by various organizations opposing return “at least until after the war,” discriminatory signs posted in shop windows, formation of new citizens' leagues specifically for the purpose of working against return, and unfriendly editorials or paid advertisements in the local newspapers.
In the Northwestern States resistance to the return of the evacuees was very largely confined throughout the whole period to these and similar “within the law" types of discrimination. But in several of the California localities, as the evacuee continued to come back in increasing numbers despite such menacing gestures, the hoodlum element among the opposition began resorting to attempted violence and open intimidation.
By the end of June 34 such incidents involving attempted arson or dynamiting, shots fired into the homes of returned Japanese, and threats of bodily harm-were recorded. The worst spots were Merced and Fresno Counties, with seven shootings each; Orange County, which had six cases of intimidation; and Placer County, which had an attempted arson and dynamiting coupled with a shooting. Fortunately, no evacuee was actually injured in these lawless forays. Property damage, however, was considerable, and the terrorism which prevailed over wide areas of California undoubtedly contributed to the relatively slow rate of return to that State during the first 6 months after revocation of exclusion.
To counteract unreasoning prejudices against all persons of Japanese descent and correct the factual distortions about War Relocation Authority activities which had been disseminated by hostile West coast organizations and newspapers, the Authority undertook a positive program of public information in the far western area several months before revocation of exclusion. Working mainly through and
in cooperation with civic clubs, church groups, and similar organizations, War Relocation Authority field officers tried to reach as many people as possible with factual information about the agency's aims and procedures, the status and experiences of the evacuated people since evacuation, and especially the combat record of Japanese American soldiers. Pamphlets and bulletins, setting forth such information, were made available to groups and individuals upon request; explanatory talks were given before dozens of local forums and organizational meetings; motion pictures, dealing with the relocation program, and the Japanese American soldier, were shown; progress reports and other types of information were released to the press.
In this effort, information about American servicemen of Japanese descent proved particularly effective. The almost unparalleled combat record of the all-Nisei One-hundredth Infantry Battalion and Four Hundred Forty-second Regimental Combat Team, the long list of Nisei casualties, and the impressive array of their battle decorations brought home more forcibly than anything else the fact that Japanese Americans are capable of the highest kind of loyalty to the United States and that the families in relocation centers have sacrificed equally with other American families in the winning of the war.
When the pattern of terrorism in California became plainly apparent toward the end of March, a definite system of reporting incidents to the State and local law enforcement officials and to the press, both locally and nationally, was instituted. On May 14, the Secretary of the Interior finally issued a strongly worded public statement condemning the terroristic elements and calling for more vigorous local law enforcement. Approximately 2 weeks later the Secretary took occasion at a press conference to denounce a California justice of the peace who had suspended sentence upon a man convicted of shooting into the home of a returned evacuee. By these means, the public both on the West coast and throughout the Nation was made gradually aware of the insidious manifestations of racial prejudice in California and of the less violent forms of opposition both there and in the Northwestern States. Before the end of June scores of newspapers in all sections of the country had brought the issue of West coast terrorism sharply into focus and had aroused a widespread demand that the returning evacuees be accorded fair and decent treatment.
As the period ended, there were encouraging signs that this heightened public awareness of the issue was having a salutary effect. The tone adopted by many of the opposition groups was becoming progressively milder and more defensive, while several organizations of West coast citizens friendly to the evacuees were growing increasingly active and outspoken. Most significant of all perhaps, the incidents'
of terrorism dwindled sharply, both in frequency and viciousness, almost immediately after the Secretary's two public statements. In fact, there was no incident of major importance between the Secretary's second statement and the end of the fiscal year.
Financial Assistance for Resettlers On the day after announcement of revocation the War Relocation Authority sent to all evacuees, both in and out of centers, a comprehensive statement on the types of assistance that would be available thereafter for relocating families and individuals. Travel grants and transportation of personal properties, which had previously been extended only on a showing of need, were made available generally to all persons leaving the centers for relocation. Such assistance was also extended to those who had previously relocated outside the West coast area and who now wished to go back to their States of former residence. Additional grants, to cover the cost of subsistence while traveling as well as expenses during the transition period immediately after arrival at destination, were continued for those resettlers in actual need of such supplemental help.
At each center, however, there was a group of people who needed assistance over and above these types of aid in order to become satisfactorily restablished in private life. This group included those whose family resources had been seriously depleted as a result of evacuation, unattached individuals who were incapable of complete self-support, and families without any prospect of adequate and continuing income. Early in the relocation program, the War Relocation Authority completed an agreement with the Social Security Board for cooperation on a program of financial assistance specifically designed to meet the needs of such people as well as those resettlers who might be faced with a sudden, unpredictable, short-range need for help. This program, actually administered by State and local public welfare agencies, was financed by funds made available to the Social Security Board by the War Relocation Authority.
Before revocation of exclusion, there were comparatively few applicants for assistance under this program among the relocating groups. As the more able-bodied, primary wage-earners left the centers in increasing numbers during 1943 and 1944, however, the so-called "dependency" cases loomed steadily larger in the residual population. Accordingly, when the ban was lifted and plans for closing centers were announced, the War Relocation Authority began almost immediately to intensify and broaden the arrangements which had previously been made for handling dependency cases. Since most of
the dependent evacuees could qualify for continuing public assistance m t heir States of former residence, first attention was given to
ng is satisfactory referral procedure with State and local