$25 and a Train Ticket

You may have heard by now about Google’s partnership with LIFE magazine: 10 million photos recently released, most of which have never been seen by the public. You can check out the site here: http://images.google.com/hosted/life
I started playing with it today and was really impressed. I think I’ll integrate it into an upcoming lesson for the computer class I’m teaching.
I don’t really know why, but I started out searching for one thing and got drawn down another path, and then another, and then I finally ended up looking for photos of internment camps – and WOW – there’s photos in here I’ve been looking for all my life it seems… they show a level of detail to the camps that I’ve often wondered about but never had the resources to look up. So I’d like to share some of the better ones I found, and they are very good – taken by the likes of Dorothea Lange, Hansel Mieth, and Carl Mydans. So without further ado:

  1. Posted notice informing people of Japanese ancestry of imminent relocation
  2. Japanese Americans registering for mandatory alien relocation
  3. Japanese-American girl waiting alone atop family baggage for bus to an assembly center
  4. Nisei Japanese-Americans participating in flag saluting ceremony at relocation center in forced internment during WWII in fear of “fifth-column” activity aiding Japanese enemy.
  5. Japanese-American soldiers on leave visiting their families
  6. Japanese reading in library at alien relocation camp.
  7. Interior of oriental style apartment at relocation camp.
  8. Young Japanese Nisei playing guitar in the stockade at Tule Lake Segregation Center
  9. Japanese Americans shopping in grocery store at the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp
  10. Japanese-American family working on their farm after returning from internment camps

Notes: Check out the caption on #6 (are they really Japanese?). Also, if you zoom in you can identify magazines. #7 is horribly staged but a great insight into what rooms could look like. I swear there’s a set of swords in the background (maybe bokken?). #9 Besides the box of Arm & Hammer and the Oxydol, I don’t recognize any of the product labels…
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The title of this post refers to what the internees were offered when they finally got to go home.
I can’t believe there’s still idiots in this day and age that defend internment… Actually, maybe that’s one of the reasons this subject is still important.

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