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MiraCosta College Marks 75th Anniversary of Japanese American Internment

 Exhibits, speakers and documentary throughout the month

Oceanside CA— MiraCosta College is remembering the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order interning more than 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom were American citizens, with a series of events beginning with a moving, month-long exhibit at the Oceanside Campus and San Elijo Campus Libraries.

“Many Americans are unaware of what happened during one of our nation’s darkest periods,” said Myla Stokes Kelly, MiraCosta College San Elijo Campus librarian who oversees library exhibits and displays. “It’s important that people are reminded about what can occur when people in power act out of fear, and round up a group of people and incarcerate them under the guise of protecting the country.”

The exhibit, Uncommon Ground: Behind the Barbed Wire, opens at the Oceanside and San Elijo campuses March 27 and will be on display through April 28. It explores the myriad facets of Japanese American internment under Executive Order 9066, life in the internment camps, and the resolve of an ethnic group to maintain its dignity and strength in the face of injustice.

The remembrance also includes the screening of the documentary, A Bitter Legacy, on April 6 at 6 p.m. at the Oceanside Campus Little Theatre, followed by a Q & A with the film’s producer, Claudia Katayanagi. A Bitter Legacy details how some camps were, in fact, secret prisons to isolate U.S. citizens who were considered troublemakers, and it examines the similarities to issues of racism that resonate today. Refreshments will be served, and the event is free and open to the public.

On April 27, the San Elijo Campus will be the setting for Japanese-American Internees Tell Their Stories, during which an elderly Japanese-American couple will discuss their incarceration, along with a third speaker who was born in the camps and who will share the memories of his siblings. The event, from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. at the Student Center, Building 900, will be moderated by Linda Canada, board member, archivist and volunteer coordinator of the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego.

The Oceanside Campus is at 1 Barnard Drive, 92056. The San Elijo Campus is at 3333 Manchester Ave. in Cardiff, 92007

Further information is available on the web at