Recruiting the first 29.
“We hope and have every reason to believe, that the Navajos will play a major role in Marine Corps operations. When the war is over, their story may rank with great sagas of the battlefield.”
August 14, is National Navajo Code Talkers Day, proclaimed in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan for just that reason. The Code Talker story is an incredible war saga. The code developed by these men was never broken by the Japanese, and it was said, at the time, that without them, the Marines would have never taken Iwo Jima.
Read the full story at http://www.archives.gov/locations/calendar/13-august.pdf.
Records about the Navajo Code Talkers can be found throughout the National Archives: in the U.S. Marine Corps records in College Park, in the Military Personnel Records in St. Louis, and in the records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Riverside and Washington, D.C. This topic is one of many which allow researchers to explore the National Archives!
The reports of continued chaos continued to come in to the Commanders throughout the Eleventh Naval District. Reports of groups of “servicemen prowling downtown Los Angeles,” in groups of “10 to 150 men…carrying hammock clues, belts, knives and tire irons,” were disturbing to the Navy commanders. The riots were disruptive to the war effort and made maintaining good relations with Angelinos difficult as well.
Though in many press reports, the “zoot suiters” were seen as the instigators of the violence, the Navy’s records show a clear concern with the behavior of Naval personnel towards the Mexican community in Los Angeles.
Explore the 70th Anniversary of the Zoot Suit Riots through the records of the U.S. Navy. This report to the Commandant of the Eleventh Naval District is from records at the National Archives at Riverside (RG 181).
With the 2013 baseball season underway, take a look at a bit of baseball from our holdings! During World War II, Camp Ross was used by the Army as a cantonment area for U.S. troops at the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation. In 1945, the baseball team was integrated.
This photo, found in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Transportation at the National Archives at Riverside is featured in our latest eBook: “Baseball: The National Pastime in the National Archives.” It is available at http://www.archives.gov/publications/ebooks/index.html#baseball for iPad, iPhone, Android, or eReader.
"Surprise aggressive action at any moment is possible." November 28, 1941 (Lt. General De Witt, Western Defense Command)
From the holdings of the Eleventh Naval District (San Diego, California) at the National Archives at Riverside.
Soldiers of Hispanic descent were integral in the war effort overseas and at home. Special Services soldiers stationed at the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation during World War II made a difference in the morale of soldiers fighting in the Pacific theater. These images from Records of the Chief of Transportation (Record Group 336) document the work done by two of these soldiers (the third is unidentified), privates Hernandez (at the piano) and Guzman (with guitar) playing music and recording the voices of soldiers “to the folks at home.”
¡Celebración de la Herencia Hispana!
To pay tribute to the many generations of Hispanic Americans that have enriched our nation’s history, the National Archives at Riverside will be highlighting some of our holdings relating to Hispanic American history in our region (Southern California, Arizona, and Clark County, NV), including records relating to Private Land Claims, Immigration and Naturalization, military service and many more.
For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month, see http://hispanicheritagemonth.gov/
Do you have what it takes to be a member of the auxiliary Police During WWII? These gentlemen from Riverside, California sure did! They were members of the community, ages 21-50, trained to support local police departments all over southern California during WWII. Their tasks? According to the Los Angeles City Defense Council they were to…
1. Control traffic.
2. Guard defense points, docks, bridges, factories, to prevent sabotage.
3. Prevent looting of partially demolished shops and homes.
4. Control panics.
5. Help enforce emergency restrictions on lighting, and prohibitions on trespassing.
6. Assist in air raid protection service before, during and after a raid.
Throughout the month of July, the National Archives at Riverside is taking the opportunity to share images, documents, and records that celebrate our local history. As the archives that holds permanent federal records for Southern California, Arizona, and Clark County, we have records from the states’ Territorial eras, records relating to the development of the region as a center of commerce and culture, and records depicting the natural beauty and built environments of our unique home. This July, join us in celebrating our heritage as Americans and our heritage as stewards of the Pacific Southwest!
Idle Farm Equipment of Japanese Internees
While Japanese-Americans were held in internment during World War II, much of their property stayed behind. To aid in food production, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) War Board decided to make much of the idle farming equipment in California available for public sale. The internee would be reimbursed at what the USDA War Board deemed to be fair market value. In this letter, Henry H. Nishizu declines the Board’s request to sell his equipment, stating that he had already committed the use of the farming machines to friends. He then writes,
"As an American, I do not feel right by remaining here in the center at the cost of the tax-payers money. When our government is helping us to relocate and thus actively become engaged in helping the shortage of man-power, I feel Relocation Center is now place for loyal Americans to stay and do nothing."
The letter is part of a series of case files related to the Idle Farming Equipment of Japanese Internees, created by the Orange County, CA USDA War Board from 1941-1948. The records are held at the National Archives at Riverside.
Observing Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
To pay tribute to the many generations of Asian-Pacific Americans that have enriched our nation’s history, the National Archives at Riverside will be highlighting some of our holdings relating to Asian American history in our region (Southern California, Arizona, and Clark County, NV), including records relating to enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion Act, records relating to Japanese internment and relocation, and many more.
For more information about Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, see http://asianpacificheritage.gov/
COUNTDOWN to the 1940 CENSUS…2…
Walt Disney’s support of the American Armed Services during World War II is very well known. We especially like this one of his character, Happy, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The logo is for the Special Services branch at the Port of Embarkation in Los Angeles (RG 336) taken from the holdings of the National Archives at Riverside.