All aliens from Germany, Italy and Japan over age 14 must apply for identification certificates at their local post office within the next 30 days, announced the front-page story of the Oakland Tribune on Jan. 20, 1942.
A month later President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, calling for the removal of people from military areas as deemed necessary. It was 10 weeks after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. World War II was going badly for the United States.
Five days later the paper reported that the deadline for Axis aliens to move out of 69 restricted zones -- which included major portions of Oakland and Berkeley, the western part of Alameda, all of Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond, Pinole-Rodeo, Crockett, Pittsburg, Martinez and parts of San Francisco -- was midnight Feb. 24.
Those failing to move would be interned. The order affected 186,000 people.
The Senate debated whether citizenship should be taken away from all Japanese-Americans. California Gov. Culbert Olson said he wanted all Japanese, including those born in the United States, moved out of the state.
Other states' governors said they would accept Japanese, but only in concentration camps.
On March 2 all Axis aliens had to file any change of residency with the government.
Gen. John L. DeWitt, commanding general of the Fourth Army of the Western Defense Command, said on March 3 that although there would be no mass evacuation, Japanese-Americans "might do well" to get out of the restricted area.
The next day newspapers reported there would be an enforced evacuation of all Japanese, including those born in the United States. The order for the evacuation came April 1.
The Federal Reserve Bank would aid the Axis aliens in disposing of their property.
On March 13 Alameda County Sheriff H.P. "Jack" Gleason said he was told by Gov. Olson to round up Japanese aliens, who plowed under their crops. The Federal Farm Security Administration called on "American" farmers to take over the 225,000 acres of 8,000 Japanese-American farms.
Gen. DeWitt on April 1 said all Japanese, both alien and nonalien, would be evacuated. They were to report to Civil Control Stations to be moved to new residences, taking with them only as much as they could carry of their own bedding, toilet articles, clothes, eating utensils, plates, bowls, cups and personal essentials.
By June 110,000 Japanese-Americans were relocated. Two and a half years later, on Dec. 17, 1944, Public Proclamation 21 allowing Japanese-Americans to return to their homes was announced, effective Jan. 2, 1945.
Not one of the 10 Americans convicted of spying for Japan during World War II was of Japanese ancestry.
In 1988 the United States dispersed $1.6 billion in reparation to Japanese-Americans who had been interned or to their heirs.
Days Gone By appears on Sundays. Contact Nilda Rego at email@example.com.