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Treasures of the Archives: Minutes and Meeting Records: Local Response to Japanese Relocation

Japanese Americans evacuating from their homes in Bainbridge Island, 1942. Image courtesy of the Museum of History and Industry.

Japanese Americans evacuating from their homes in Bainbridge Island, 1942. Image courtesy of the Museum of History and Industry.

On December 7, 1941 Japanese aircraft executed a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, a U.S. naval base in Hawaii. Just three months later, in March 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9102, which established the War Relocation Authority. The agency was tasked with removing and interning Japanese Americans in the coastal areas of the West Coast, where they were perceived by the government to be the greatest threat for acts of espionage. One of the first removals occurred in the Bainbridge Island area, just outside of Seattle.

Treasures of the Archives: Digital Archives Upgrade: The Power of Histograms

Histogram of the Chelan County Auditor, Miscellaneous Recordings illustrates the rapid increase in this record series since 1974, and also a gap in the records in 2009.

Histogram of the Chelan County Auditor, Miscellaneous Recordings illustrates the rapid increase in this record series since 1974, and also a gap in the records in 2009, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, https://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/.

By the time government records get to the Washington State Archives, they are not always complete. Months or years of a given records series may have disappeared in a flood or fire or simply have been disposed of by the originating agency. These gaps in a record series can frustrate researchers, who logically assume that if we have the records for 1960 and 1962 that was also have them for 1961--which is not always the case.

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