February 8, 1972
To the Editor:
In answer to the article by Gerald Schlenker in the Winter, 1972 Journal of San Diego History on the internment of the Japanese after the attack on Pearl Harbor, it seems in order to present something on the other side by one who was there.
Of necessity Japan had to have well worked out war plans before they attempted an attack on Pearl Harbor, and an integral part of those plans had to be placing apparently loyal Japanese at strategic points throughout the United States. Loyal Japanese-Americans realized this and were willing to leave the coast as a precautionary and necessary measure.
The West Coast was particularly vulnerable and San Diego with its large military installations and perfect harbor was especially so.
The quotes that Mr. Schlenker used from certain individuals who stated their disapproval thirty years after the historical event are heavily outweighted by statements from those who believed no chances could be taken of disloyalty among a group of people whose individual attitudes were unknown.
The decision to remove the Japanese, even Japanese-Americans, from the coast was a military one. It was not done in histeria as Mr. Schlenker seems to infer. I do not consider myself a “first rank bureaucrat” or a “politician” from “the prejudiced West Coast.” I live here, and I was there.
Louise L. Redelings
(Mrs. Leslie H. Redelings)
February 9, 1972
The article on the internment of the Japanese of San Diego County [Winter, 1972, Journal of San Diego History] is simply superb. It needed to be written. I was teaching in San Diego in 1941. After Pearl Harbor, a terrible event, I heard many an instant folktale of the treachery of Japanese-American citizens.
Besides having taught many bright, interesting, and beautifully behaved children of Japanese ancestry, (really young people in high school), my brother and I had had tenants, both on farm land and in house rentals for some years. We had respect and regard for them.
The first protest of the treatment of these Amercan citizens came from a Presbyterian group meeting in Santa Barbara, as I recall.
I regret that I cannot find time to take part in more of the activities of the San Diego History Center.
Very truly yours,
(Mrs. Clarence N. Callender)
February 23, 1972
Dear Mr. Moss:
I am deeply concerned with the use of the term “Baja” to refer to the peninsula of Baja California. While many authors have taken literary license to use the term in book titles, popular literature, etc., it is not only incorrect (we would not refer to
South Dakota as “South,” nor New York as “New,” etc.), but it is also quite offensive to many Mexicans. I would like to see The Journal of San Diego History set the pattern for accuracy and good taste by consistently using the term Baja California or Lower California when referring to the peninsula.
W. Michael Mathes
University of San Francisco