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Portland's Expo Center Played Role In WWII Internment

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Photos of Expo Center, MAX station memorial and Henry Sakamoto by Scott Silver
Archive photos courtesy The Oregonian

On February 19th, 1942 President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 - which would pave the way for Japanese-Americans to be placed in internment camps around the west.

For many Japanese-Americans in Oregon, internment began in Portland.

From May to September of 1942, more than 3,500 Japanese-Americans were housed at the building now known as the Expo Center.

During this time, the building was referred to as the “Portland Assembly Center,” and it served as a temporary home for Japanese-Americans before they were sent to long-term internment camps in Idaho, Wyoming and elsewhere.

Henry Sakamoto, of Portland, was a teenager when his family moved into the Expo Center. He shares his memories.

Sakamoto was sent to the Minidoka internment camp, in Hunt, Idaho.

Marbles, Movies And Watermelons

Portlander John Nakada shares his experiences as a child in the Gila Rivers War Relocation Center in Arizona.