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How to Use the Images

 

Inquiry Question

Historical Context

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Drawing 1
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Photo 6
Photo 7

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Visual Evidence

Photo 1: Evacuees arriving at Manzanar
in California, 1942.
[Photo 1] with link to larger version of photo.
(National Archives and Records Administration, Clem Albers, photographer)

Photo 2: Residential barracks block at Rohwer in Arkansas, 1943. [Photo 2] with link to larger version of photo.
(National Archives and Records Administration, Gretchen Van Tassel, photographer)

Questions for Photos 1 and 2

1. How many people are in the group in the center of Photo 1? They are carrying all of their belongings. What would you take with you if you had to move to an unknown place for an undetermined period of time, and you could take only what you could carry?

2. Photo 1 shows the dust that former evacuees writing about Manzanar always mention: "The most unpleasant thing about camp was the dust. We had a tin cup and a bowl with milk. A dust storm would blow sometimes for hours, and dust would seep into everything. I would see the dust forming on the milk and I'd try to scoop it away. It got to the point where I said 'Aah, just close your mind to it and say "Dust is good for you," and drink it.'"¹ How do you think you would have reacted to these conditions?

3. Why do you think the bridge in the foreground of Photo 2 was built? Because the center was on low, wet ground, not far from the Mississippi River, each residential block was surrounded by a drainage ditch. Do you think a damp, humid setting would be better or worse than a desert?

¹Ellen Levine, A Fence Away from Freedom: Japanese Americans and World War II (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1995), 51.

* The photos on this screen have a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a larger version of Photo 1 and Photo 2, but be aware that each file will take as much as 43 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.

 

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