About Topaz, an American concentration camp
At the beginning of World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order which allowed the military to remove persons of Japanese heritage from their homes on the West Coast of the United States. These people were placed in what have become known as American concentration camps. There were ten camps built in remote and desolate areas of the country where the people were incarcerated, most for the duration of the war. The majority of these people were American citizens who had been born in the United States.
One of the camps was named the Topaz Camp. It is located close to Delta, Utah. A museum has been erected in the city of Delta to commemorate the experiences of the people who were kept at Topaz. There is an exhibit at the Utah State Capitol about the Topaz Camp. It includes stories of thirty-one of the people who were held at that camp.
The exhibit is titled "Topaz Stories." It is presented by the Friends of the Topaz Museum.
There will be a public program on the Topaz Stories exhibit held at the Utah State Capitol Rotunda on April 22, 2022. The program will be from 4-5 pm with a reception to follow.
The Topaz Camp display at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City is on the 3rd Floor Mezzanine at the Capitol. It will be open until December 31, 2022.
The public is encouraged to visit the display to learn about this little-known part of American history. It was a period when American citizens were not protected by the Constitution. They faced extreme racism and discrimination.
[Reference: The Japanese American Story as Told Through a Collection of Speeches and Articles, www.thejapaneseamericanstory.com; https://topazmuseum.org/]