Japanese Americans Forced to Move to Internment Camps

A total of 92,193 Japanese Americans were transferred to these temporary detention centers from March to August 1942. Many Japanese Americans who resided in Los Angeles lived in Little Tokyo and were forced to relocate to Manzanar and Tule Lake, losing their homes, businesses, belongings and freedom. The image on the left is of Los Angeles residents getting on the Pacific Electric train at the Santa Anita Park, which became an “assembly center” for Japanese Americans forced to relocate to internment camps. The photograph was taken on April 3, 1942.

All but four of the 15 internment camps (12 in California, and one each in Washington, Oregon and Arizona) had previously been racetracks or fairgrounds. The stables and livestock areas were cleaned out and hastily converted to living quarters for families of up to six, while wood and tarpaper barracks were constructed for additional housing and communal latrines, laundry facilities and mess halls.