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Moving Out

The Okano Brothers Cut Rate Store in Los Angeles, 1942
Courtesy of National Archives

The stables just reeked . . . of urine and horse manure. It was so degrading for people to live in those conditions. It’s almost as if you’re not talking about the way Americans treated Americans."

–Ernest Uno, around 1993

The first stops for evacuees were hastily prepared temporary detention centers within the restricted military zones. These were fairgrounds and racetracks where inmates were housed, sometimes in livestock pavilions and horse stalls.  

Leaving Bainbridge Island, Washington, 1942
Courtesy of Associated Press

Upon arrival, authorities inspected baggage for contraband such as weapons and liquor, but also shortwave radios and cameras.
Courtesy of Library of Congress
Stuffing their mattresses with straw, 1942
Courtesy of Tommy Kushi