Resolution No. 207 Adopted by Sacramento City Council on May 28, 1943

  1. Ownership: Owned by the Japanese American Archival Collection.
    The Japanese American Archival Collection originated from a gift of photographs, documents and artifacts from the teaching materials of Mary Tsuruko Tsukamoto. The Collection chronicles the story of Japanese Americans in Northern California from 1869 through post World War II and continuing present day issues.
  2. Type of Textual Primary Source: Official Government Document
  3. Date Created: May 28, 1943
  4. Author: Authored by Sacramento (California) City Council
  5. Audience: The City of Sacramento, California and the United States government.
  6. Key Information
    1. Three important things the author said
      1. The city council mentions the attack on Pearl Harbor brought attention to “the treachery, faithlessness, and untrustworthiness of the Pagan Japanese.”
      2. The council also refers to the camps as “concentration camps.”
      3. “We are opposed to the return of any Japanese from concentration camps to their former locations.”
    2. This document seems to be written to demonstrate to the people of Sacramento that the city council stands behind the removal of Japanese-Americans from the city and their imprisonment in internment camps. This is also meant to send to the national and state governments the idea that the people of Sacramento did not want Japanese-Americans to return to Sacramento.
    3. When the resolution says, “and Sacramento people being thoroughly conversant with the conduct of these undesirable people,” hints that this idea is supposed to demonstrate to higher elements of the United States government that the people of Sacramento support their decision to create the internment camps as well as the idea that the council is listening to the people of Sacramento in writing this resolution.
    4. Two things this document tells about life in Sacramento leading to 1945
      1. Perhaps the most important thing to be gathered from this document is the low level support of the internment camps. It’s easy to think of the internment camps exclusively as acts of the federal government, but there was a large amount of racist support among average Americans, and this document stands as proof of that fact.
      2. This document also gives the sense that the people of Sacramento didn’t just want Japanese-Americans gone for the duration of war as a matter of security. Rather, the council implies a desire for permanent removal of Japanese-Americans when the resolution says, “we are opposed to the return of any Japanese from concentration camps to their former locations.”
    5. One question that one cannot definitively answer reading this document is “How much does this resolution reflect the will of the people of Sacramento?” I could certainly take a confident guess, but I would not have enough evidence to be fully justified in making that judgement.

Post written by Jonah Roberson on February 27, 2019 in Norman, Oklahoma.

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