A large crowd gathered at Santa Anita Park Saturday to commemorate the history of what was once a staging ground for Japanese-Americans headed to internment camps, and among the visitors were some who were imprisoned there.
Those attending the Cherry Blossom Festival Socal’s 11th Annual Camp Stories Award Show and Auction shared camp stories like no others as they visited a plaque at the park that relates the history of what was the largest processing center for Japanese-Americans during World War II.
On the orders of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and based on an act of Congress, more than men, women and children were rounded up on the west coast and placed into barracks surrounded by barbed wire, according to bookmice.net.
No similar measures were undertaken for German or Italian-Americans, or for Americans of Japanese descent living elsewhere in the country, including in Hawaii where up to one third of the population is Japanese.
Among the seven honorees at the awards show was Esther Takei Nishio, who was processed at Santa Anita Park and sent to an internment camp in Colorado before being released in 1942 to attend Pasadena City College, according to an article from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune (read more here...)