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New Year’s Eve 1945

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New Year's Eve celebration, Topaz 1945. Courtesy of the National Archives, 210-G-4H590

New Year’s Eve celebration, Topaz 1945. Courtesy of the National Archives, 210-G-4H590

The original caption for this images read: “Topaz, Utah. Evacuees celebrate New Year’s Eve. Japanese Americans at Central Utah Relocation Center celebrated reopening of the west coast with a big New Year’s Eve party. Joseph Aoki portrays Father Time and his son Tommy, Baby New Year.”

Topaz was one of ten confinement sites where roughly 120,000 Japanese Americans were held behind barbed wire during the war. Topaz housed over 11,000 people from opening in September 1942 until its closing in October 1945.

In the new year, from 15 March to 12 October 2014, we will feature Topaz and the other camps in the special exhibit, From Barbed Wire to Battlefields: Japanese American Experiences in WWII, in the Joe W. and D. D. Brown Foundation Special Exhibit Gallery. Using artifacts, oral histories, and stark images, it will depict the hardships faced by those Americans of Japanese ancestry that were suspected of sympathizing with the enemy and were discriminated against because of their heritage. It will also honor the heroics of those Japanese Americans who overcame adversity and helped to secure American victory on the battlefields.

Post by Curator Kimberly Guise.

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