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Army Ready to Take Over at Tanforan
Racetrack to Become Assembly Center for Evacuated Aliens

The Army today was preparing to take over Tanforan racetrack as an assembly center for Japanese and other persons to be evacuated from the Pacific Coast military area.

Santa Anita racetrack and several state and county fair grounds in the interior valleys already are being made into such centers where evacuees will be housed until reception centers farther inland can be constructed.

The Army extended to 5 p.m. tomorrow the deadline for registration of alien and American-born Japanese who must evacuate the northern and western waterfront areas of San Francisco by noon Tuesday.

At the Civil Control Station, 1701 Van Ness-av, 635 of an estimated 1000 Japanese in the areas had been registered at noon today, and health examinations were under way.

“So far, not one case of contagious disease has been found,” said William G. Piece, of the Social Security Board, in charge of the station.

The local Japanese will board a special train Tuesday morning for Manzanar, in the Owens Valley, first reception center opened so far for the evacuees.

Nearly 2200 Japanese, the majority of them from the Los Angeles area, already are at Manzanar, and by tomorrow night nearly 3000 will be there. Maximum capacity of the center will be 15,000. With more than 100,000 to be evacuated from the Pacific Coast military zone, the Government is looking for resettlement areas farther inland.

Salt Lake Meet

The problem will be discussed Tuesday in Salt Lake City at a meeting called by M.S. Eisenhower, head of the War Relocation Authority. Requests that they attend the meeting have been sent by Mr. Eisenhower to governors and other high officials of Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon and Wyoming.

Mr. Eisenhower’s WRA takes over when the Japanese reach reception centers, such as Manzanar, and has charge of production at such centers or of the planned movement of evacuees from the centers into other useful production.

Five types of work are being considered: Development of land for irrigation; production of needed agricultural commodities for subsistence of evacuees and for sale; manufacturing of such articles as camouflage nets, cartridge belts, wood products, etc., required by the military establishment, and private employment where profitable.

Mr. Eisenhower emphasizes, however, that it may be several months before evacuees take part in any private employment, and that the immediate plan will be for relocation and work opportunities on large supervised public projects.

Continuing its roundup of enemy aliens, the FBI and police in several Northern California communities searched many homes and questioned a score of aliens.

Dr. Fritz Hansgirg, Austrian-born chemist who invented a process for extracting magnesium was removed from the Santa Clara County Jail to an enemy alien reception center at Sharp Park.

Dr. Hansgirg was technical adviser for the huge Permanente Magnesium Co. He was taken into custody at the outbreak of the war, and although a civilian enemy alien board has recommended his release on parole, no final ruling has come from the attorney general’s office.

He had been permitted to leave his jail cell and visit the Permanente plant under guard, but when the Army banned enemy aliens from strategic zones his visits were halted.

The associated Students executive committee at the University of California, announced it had written to 80 colleges in the Rocky Mountain area and 11 governors, asking them to help evacuated Japanese students “orient themselves.”

The San Francisco News
April 3, 1942

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