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Posted on Apr 21, 2017

Special speaker marks kickoff of local push to collect oral histories

A presentation about how Japanese-Americans dealt with internment during World War II will be held Sunday at the Quincy Pioneer Church and emphasize the start of a drive by the Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum to record oral histories.
The speaker, Mayumi Tsutakawa, at the free public discussion on April 23, is from the Humanities Washington’s Speakers Bureau program and is being hosted by the local historical society.
The presentation by Humanities Washington, which is a nonprofit organization, comes close to the 75th anniversary of the start of the internment of Japanese-Americans. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order on Feb. 19, 1942, that led to the forced removal of more than 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of them from the West Coast, to camps in the interior of the country.
The event starts at 4 p.m. at the historical society facility at 415 F St. SW, Quincy.
Harriet Weber, a volunteer with the Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum, said the local group is trying to get oral histories this spring and summer, especially from Japanese-Americans from this area. Weber said many Japanese-Americans have farmed in the valley.
The historical society is also reaching out to older residents to record their oral histories.
One’s life story does not need to be as exciting as a Hollywood movie plot to be of interest to the historical society. Everyone has a wonderful story to tell, Weber said, including average people.
Weber said that having one’s story recorded is not scary – it is done very informally, like a chat with a friend. Anyone interested may call the historical society at 787-4685 and leave a message, or call Weber at 398-1949.

By Dave Burgess,

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