History, a beautiful drive and a few trails on the way. A three-fer. Count us in and we were on our way up the slopes. We’ve had so much rain recently that the flowers were in full bloom carpeting the walls of the canyons we passed through.
Here’s a poster of the times. With posters like these, it’s no wonder that people wanted Order 9066.
In all 117,000, 2/3rds of the Japanese-American citizens of the US, were given from 3 days to 2 weeks to sell their homes, their businesses, their fishing boats and anything else they owned, told to pack a few clothes and move. The largest forced removal and incarceration in US history.
They they were convicted of draft evasion and sentenced to 2 - 3 years in prison. 40 of them were sent to Tucson in leg chains and handcuffs under armed guard. One of these young men, Gordon Hirabayashi wanted to work outside and got assigned to the Catalina Federal Honor Camp in Tucson but the federal authorities refused to pay for his trip so he hitchhiked his way to Tucson stopping in to visit his family interned in Idaho along the way. When he arrived, the prison could not find his papers and Gordon went out to dinner and a movie while they found them.
Gordon served out his time at the camp and after the war, went on to become a professor of sociology. 40 years after his internment, historians discovered documents showing that the Justice Department had withheld evidence that the forced removal and internment of Japanese-Americans was unnecessary.
In 1987 a Federal Appeals Court unanimously overturned Gordon's conviction and in his honor, the old prison camp was renamed the Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Site. Hirabayashi is in the middle of this group of former prisoners.
We walked around a bit and then decided to take the trail which took off from here and have lunch at the Whimsical Rocks.
‘Plan to be spontaneous.’