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Jan 28

Japanese internment resolutions, Baywood Park gets electricity-World War II week by week

The United States had been fighting for seven weeks and the news was bad everywhere in the Pacific and in much of Europe and Africa. The plain facts were that America was woefully under-prepared and losing. In a misguided attempt to focus rage, governments from the local to national level were lashing out at the only target they could act upon, Japanese immigrants.

The city of Los Angeles fired 39 American born workers of Japanese descent. No evidence of seditious action was presented. The mayor said they would be permitted to return when the war ended.

The 70th anniversary of Baywood Park getting electricity. World War II headlines from January 28, 1942.

The LA County Board of Supervisors took the measure one step further and unanimously adopted a resolution asking the removal of 13,391 Japanese “aliens” from the coastal county to inland areas. They were called a potential menace to war industries. County officials eyed the Japanese truck gardens near the Long Beach naval air base and near aircraft plants with deep suspicion. America was about to break the constitution on the basis of unfounded fear.

The Asian community had been the victim of previous spasms of discrimination. In the 1870s mobs rioted killing Chinese immigrants and draconian anti-Asian immigration laws were put in place in this era. At least three stories on this front page addressed fear of Axis nationals. What wasn’t considered in any of these stories is that a majority of these folks left their nations for a better life in America. They may have a love for family or cultural traditions but many had arguments with the economics or politics at home and had no interest in helping the homeland fight America.

The coming storm would organize discrimination to a whole new level especially for the Japanese.

In other news Baywood Park was finally going to get electrical power. District manager of PG&E, Charles Kelly said that a utility line would be extended four miles from the existing Los Osos Valley line to Baywood. Real estate dealers expected the value of the tracts to go up. “Proximity of Baywood Park to Camp San Luis Obispo and to Morro Bay has already caused a building boom in the area, and estate officials predict that it will become an important residential and recreation center of the county. [Ralph R.] Westfall [resident manager] reports that a street improvement project is under discussion and that excellent culinary water is available in the area.”

The move had been contemplated for more than a decade, no word on when the sewer began to be contemplated.

Major General W. H. Simpson of Camp San Luis Obispo accepted an invitation to speak to the Chamber of Commerce. He would later serve with distinction under Eisenhower in Europe.

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