Mass removal ("evacuation")
On March 2, 1942, Public Proclamation No. 1 began to appear on telephone poles and buildings. This was the first official notice Japanese Americans had of their immediate removal from the West Coast. The notices stated that they had six or seven days to prepare, and were to take only what they could carry. They were not told where they would be taken. People rushed to sell or store, in one week, property and belongings acquired over a lifetime. Some families tucked their valuables away in their attic or basement and locked the door, hoping to return soon. On the appointed "evacuation" day, thousands of Japanese Americans gathered at designated locations, with the numbered identification tags they had been issued tied to their coats. Watched by curious onlookers, they were met by armed soldiers and transported in buses, private cars, and trains to sixteen temporary "assembly centers" in California, Washington, Oregon and Arizona.
Related articles from the
Densho Encyclopedia :
Final Report, Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast, 1942 (book)