Japanese American History in
Venice-West LA area
FIRST JAPANESE SETTLE IN CALIFORNIA
The first group of settlers from Japan arrived to the United States through San Francisco and settled at Cold Hill, El Dorado County, in June 1869, creating the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony under the leadership of John Schnell.1
An informal agreement between the governments of Japan and the United States that restricted immigration from Japan in exchange for desegregating San Francisco's public schools. This Agreement allowed wives and children to enter, leading to a steady increase of the Japanese American population over the next decade-and-a-half. Many of the women came as "picture brides," whose marriages had been arranged through photographs prior to their arrival in the United States.2
CALIFORNIA ALIEN LAND LAW
Alien land laws prohibited "aliens ineligible for citizenship" from owning agricultural land or possessing long-term leases. The California Alien Land Law was an attempt to limit the presence and permanence of Japanese immigrants in California but applied to many other states as well. In 1952, alien land laws were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.3
FEDERAL IMMIGRATION ACT
Also known as the Johnson-Reed Act, the Federal Immigration Act of 1924, limited immigration from countries to 2% per year of their current population in the US and completely banned immigration from all Asian countries.4
FOUNDING OF JAPANESE AMERICAN CITIZENS LEAGUE
The National JACL is founded to foster good citizenship and civic participation.5
FIRST JACL NATIONAL CONVENTION
First JACL National Convention is held on August 29, 1930 in Seattle, Washington.6
FIRST NISEI WEEK
The annual festival celebrating Japanese American (JA) culture and history was hosted in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.7
Founding of the Bay District JACL Chapter
The first JACL Chapter was formed in the West Los Angeles area. Within 3 years, the Bay District chapter split into three chapters: Venice-Culver, West Los Angeles and Santa Monica.
On December 7, 1941, the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan triggers the entry of the United States into World War II.
EXECUTIVE ORDER 9066
On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed EO9066 that led to the unjust incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II from the West Coast to 10 American concentration camps.8
FORMATION OF 100TH /442ND REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
On January 28, the volunteer, all Nisei, 100th/442nd Regimental combat Team is formed to fight during World War II. They would become the most highly decorated unit in American military history.9
US SUPREME COURT REVERSES RULING ON CALIFORNIA ALIEN LAND LAW10
IMMIGRATION ACT OF 1952
Congress passes the law that granted Japan a token immigration quota and allowed the Issei (first generation) to become American Citizens.12
HR442 + CIVIL LIBERTIES ACT OF 1988
On August 10, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, providing redress of $20,000 and a formal presidential apology to every surviving U.S. citizen or legal resident of Japanese ancestry incarcerated during World War II.13
ESTABLISHMENT OF FRANCES C. KITAGAWA LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Visit Frances C. Kitagawa Leadership Development for history and program information.
SAWTELLE DESIGNATED AS JAPANTOWN
Formerly known as Little Osaka, in 2015, Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to name the neighborhood Sawtelle Japantown. Sawtelle Japantown is Los Angeles' second official Japanese community and the nation's forth. The area had been a thriving thriving Japanese American community since 1890, when Japanese Americans immigrated to the area because of racial restrictions in other Westside communities. 14
ESTABLISHMENT OF VENICE-WEST LOS ANGELES JACL CHAPTER
Venice-Culver and West Los Angeles JACL Chapters merged to continue the mission of JACL on the westside of Los Angeles. The chapter also includes the members of the former Marina SCAN Chapter.
DEDICATION OF VENICE JAPANESE AMERICAN MEMORIAL MONUMENT
April 27 marked the completion and dedicaton ceremony for the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAMM) sits on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards. The 9′ 6″ tall solid black granite obelisk marks the spot where some 1,000 persons of Japanese ancestry from Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu lined up with only what they could carry in April, 1942. Buses transported them directly to Manzanar.15
Visit WWW.JACL.org to learn more about
the history of National JACL and its milestones in the
Japanese American and civil rights community.