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Sign outside Engineer's office at Manzanar
Sign outside Engineer's office at Manzanar

"Owens Valley / Reception Center.. / Manzanar, Calif. / U.S. Engineer Office"
"The name Manzanar meant nothing to us when we left Boyle Heights. We didn't know where it was or what it was. We went because the government ordered us to. And, in the case of my older brothers and sisters, we went with a certain amount of relief. They had all heard stories of Japanese homes being attacked, of beatings in the streets of California towns. They were as frightened of the Caucasians as Caucasians were of us. Moving, under what appeared to be government protection, to an area less directly threatened by the war seemed not such a bad idea at all. For some it sounded like a fine adventure."
Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston, Farewell to Manzanar
Courtesy of National Japanese American Historical Society