In May we mark the 60th anniversary of the internment during World War II of East Multnomah County’s Japanese Americans. The event, then regarded as a war-time necessity, resulted in an official apology by the U.S. Government.
The internment act singled out only Japanese-Americans, though we were also at war with Germans and Italians, to leave their homes and farms and move away from U.S. coastal areas to designated camps. They were allowed one suitcase apiece on the day they were taken away at the fairgrounds in Gresham. Most local families, some of them high school students only days before their graduation, went to Minidoka, a camp in western Idaho. Many chose to leave the camps to work in field labor crews in Idaho and eastern Oregon. Others joined the military serving bravely in World War II. The rest spent 4 to 5 years in the camp.
If you are interested in learning more about Troutdale’s History, you can subscribe to Bygone Times, the newsletter of the Troutdale Historical Society. To sign up for your copy, or for more information about the Historical Society, please call 503-661-2164.
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