Friday, July 22, 2011

Temporary Japanese Detention Camp - Pomona

Modern political spin phrase turners would be proud of their crafty ancestors in that they called these concentration camps ‘Assembly Centers.’ Imagine getting such a notice today…..really…just think about getting a notice for people of your race liquidate your belongings and to show up and turn yourself in to the government with nothing more than you could carry. 

Japanese-American and the Japanese aliens on the West Coast were rounded up and moved first to assembly centers like this one at the Pomona Fairgrounds and then to internment camps. Few Japanese living in the East or Midwestern portions of the U.S., though, were treated the same way. What is extremely confounding is that those of Japanese ancestry living in Hawaii were not subject to a mass evacuation even though they formed a third of the population in Hawaii and were a lot closer to Japan than the Japanese-Americans on the West Coast of the U.S.

About 5500 people stayed here on the fairgrounds around the Blue Gate side of things off White Avenue before moving on to more permanent and isolated facilities, a part of the park where this writer played the LA County Fair in the ‘90’s as a grounds act for Dugan’s Barbeque. .

Plaque inscription if there was a plaque: NO. 934 TEMPORARY DETENTION CAMPS FOR JAPANESE AMERICANS-SANTA ANITA ASSEMBLY CENTER AND POMONA ASSEMBLY CENTER - The temporary detention camps (also known as 'assembly centers') represent the first phase of the mass incarceration of 97,785 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Pursuant to Executive Order 9066 signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, thirteen makeshift detention facilities were constructed at various California racetracks, fairgrounds, and labor camps. These facilities were intended to confine Japanese Americans until more permanent concentration camps, such as those at Manzanar and Tule Lake in California, could be built in isolated areas of the country. Beginning on March 30, 1942, all native-born Americans and long-time legal residents of Japanese ancestry living in California were ordered to surrender themselves for detention.
Location: Arcadia and Pomona
Google maps: 34.085365,-117.766056


  1. Little known fact but Japanese-Americans living in Hawaii were rounded up and thrown in internment camps. They rediscovered the camp grounds in 2002 on the hills of Honouliuli.