Ron Magden Interview Segment 27

Born in 1926 in Idaho, one of three children (ddr-densho-1000-162-1) - 00:01:52
Influence of mother's writing on life choices (ddr-densho-1000-162-2) - 00:05:47
Parents' meeting in the 1920s (ddr-densho-1000-162-3) - 00:03:45
Early memories: living in a tent during the Great Depression, living during summers with a Finnish family (ddr-densho-1000-162-4) - 00:08:06
Working as a newspaper boy at age nine (ddr-densho-1000-162-5) - 00:03:50
An independent spirit at a young age; father left family, hitchhiking to visit him (ddr-densho-1000-162-6) - 00:03:22
Mother's influence regarding race relations, no tolerance for bigotry (ddr-densho-1000-162-7) - 00:05:25
Early years of World War II: questioning the isolationist slant to articles in newspapers (ddr-densho-1000-162-8) - 00:05:18
Memories of the bombing of Pearl Harbor: hearing rumors, watching people enlist in military service (ddr-densho-1000-162-9) - 00:04:38
Living in Boise, Idaho, after December 7, 1941: observing racist attitudes towards Japanese Americans (ddr-densho-1000-162-10) - 00:04:05
Boise residents' reactions to so-called "voluntary evacuation" of Japanese Americans from the West Coast to Idaho (ddr-densho-1000-162-11) - 00:02:48
A "news blanket" on Minidoka: Boise residents were not told much about the establishment of the Minidoka concentration camp (ddr-densho-1000-162-12) - 00:05:03
Experiences in high school on a solo five-week road trip: discovering love of travel (ddr-densho-1000-162-13) - 00:10:36
Mother's influence upon decision attend the University of Idaho instead of enlisting in the merchant marines (ddr-densho-1000-162-14) - 00:03:15
Meeting future wife in college and getting married; converting to Catholicism (ddr-densho-1000-162-15) - 00:07:51
Upon graduation from college, took a teaching job in Orofino, Idaho; experiences with Native Americans in the student population (ddr-densho-1000-162-16) - 00:10:13
Pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Washington amidst the anti-Communist period in the 1950s (ddr-densho-1000-162-17) - 00:09:05
Getting in "trouble" while teaching in the Renton school district because of views on Communism (ddr-densho-1000-162-18) - 00:02:56
The influence of Brown v. Board of Education on race relations policies at Renton high school; working for an open-minded principal (ddr-densho-1000-162-19) - 00:06:38
Discussion of teaching style: "I tried to make the classroom an exciting place" (ddr-densho-1000-162-20) - 00:02:56
Writing dissertation while raising a family and teaching full-time (ddr-densho-1000-162-21) - 00:04:58
Choosing to teach at Tacoma Community College after earning Ph.D. (ddr-densho-1000-162-22) - 00:03:23
Being asked to write a book on the history of the Longshoreman's Union in Washington state: a skeptical reception at first (ddr-densho-1000-162-23) - 00:06:04
Positive reception of the longshoremen to book about their history (ddr-densho-1000-162-24) - 00:02:30
Examining a book written by an Issei detailing the prewar history of the Japanese community in Tacoma, Washington (ddr-densho-1000-162-25) - 00:07:15
Being asked to write a book on the history of the Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans in Tacoma, Washington (ddr-densho-1000-162-26) - 00:04:35
The process of writing Furusato, a history of the Japanese Community in Tacoma, Washington (ddr-densho-1000-162-27) - 00:05:57
The completion of Furusato: rigorous research into historical details such as the Japanese leasing of land (ddr-densho-1000-162-28) - 00:09:03
Interviewing Dave Beck, an influential leader of the Teamsters Union in Washington state, for a book on the history of the teamsters (ddr-densho-1000-162-29) - 00:05:09
Discussion of teamster leader Dave Beck's history of stopping Japanese farmers from driving their crops into Western Washington (ddr-densho-1000-162-30) - 00:05:25
Experiences interviewing teamsters to capture their history (ddr-densho-1000-162-31) - 00:03:58
Involvement in writing a book on the history of the Seattle Buddhist Temple (ddr-densho-1000-162-32) - 00:05:32
Comparing the history of the Tacoma Japanese Americans to that of the Seattleites (ddr-densho-1000-162-33) - 00:02:48
Working to correct the records of Japanese Americans from Tacoma and Pierce County killed in World War II, with the aim of eventually erecting a monument (ddr-densho-1000-162-34) - 00:05:04
Discussion of personal interest: examining how history is remembered by individuals, and how personal recollections can change dramatically over time (ddr-densho-1000-162-35) - 00:06:55
Reflections: "I look at history as building blocks" (ddr-densho-1000-162-36) - 00:03:10
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ddr-densho-1000-162-27 (Legacy UID: denshovh-mron-01-0027)

The process of writing Furusato, a history of the Japanese Community in Tacoma, Washington

00:05:57 — Segment 27 of 36

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June 15, 2004

Densho Visual History Collection


Courtesy of Densho


Ron Magden

Ron Magden Interview

03:09:15 — 36 segments

June 15, 2004

Seattle, Washington

White male. Born August 30, 1926, in Mountain Home, Idaho. An enterprising child, took a job selling newspapers at age nine. High school age during the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, remembers reading about anti-Japanese sentiment in Boise, Idaho. Attended the University of Idaho and taught in Orofino, Idaho, for three years before pursuing doctorate at the University of Washington. Taught at Renton High School and then at Tacoma Community College. A prominent local historian, Ron has published several books, including The Working Waterfront: The Story of Tacoma's Ships and Men, and Furusato: Tacoma-Pierce County Japanese, 1888-1977.

Tom Ikeda, interviewer; John Pai, videographer


Courtesy of Densho