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Traveling Japanese Internment Exhibit Makes Stop In Salem

Francis Stewart
U.S. Department of the Interior
A 1942 panorama view of the Minidoka War Relocation Authority center in south central Idaho.

A traveling exhibit on Oregon’s participation in incarcerating Japanese Americans and immigrants during World War II made a stop at the Capitol building in Salem this week.

?The exhibit, called “Architecture of Internment,” features letters, telegrams and resolutions penned by Oregonians and state lawmakers advocating for the incarceration of Japanese Americans in 1942. ??

Ann Galisky put the exhibit together for Portland-based documentary film company Graham Street Productions. ??

“This is not the white supremacism of the KKK, this is the white supremacism of the pillars of the community,” Galisky said. “And really, I was quite shocked.”

Galisky said she found most of the documents 16 years ago in boxes at the state archive. ??

Blueprints and plans for internment camp construction in Oregon are also part of the display, which is traveling rural Oregon all year. It’s also on semi-permanent display in Ontario.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an Executive Order on February 19, 1942 that authorized the relocation of 110,000 Japanese Americans. ??

In May, Governor Kate Brown issued an official apology to those interred in Oregon.