World War II | KUOW News and Information

World War II

Echoes from Northwest history rang loudly for people in the present at a memorial ceremony Thursday to mark 75 years since the U.S. government forcibly removed the first Japanese Americans from their West Coast homes and sent them to internment camps. This happened in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II.

Caption by photographer Dorothea Lange: Ester Naite, an office worker from Los Angeles, operates an electric iron in her quarters at Manzanar, California, a War Relocation Authority center where evacuees of Japanese ancestry will spend the duration.
Dorothea Lange/Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC 20540 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

It’s not often that we look back on ugly times in our nation’s history. We’re not very good at that as Americans.

But the Japanese internment has been coming up a lot lately.

KUOW PHOTO/BILL RADKE

Bill Radke speaks with author Frank Abe about his 2000 documentary "Conscience and the Constitution," which looks at Japanese who resisted their internment in American camps during World War II. Abe explains why this resistance was so controversial at the time, why it means so much now and what modern resistance looks like. 

Bill Radke talks with writer and Humanities Washington speaker Mayumi Tsutakawa about the 75th anniversary of the World War II order that led to Japanese internment in America. Tsutukawa explains her own personal connection to internment, and how it can help educate about modern prejudices.

Clare Hollingworth, the war correspondent who told the world of the outbreak of World War II, has died at 105.

She died Tuesday evening in Hong Kong, according to long-time friend Cathy Hilborn Feng, who says Hollingworth "had a smile before she left us."

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET

President Obama and Japanese Minister Shinzo Abe made a historic appearance at Pearl Harbor, 75 years after the surprise attack that prompted U.S. entry into World War II, praising the reconciliation and partnership between their respective nations.

In a somber ceremony Tuesday, the two leaders touted the U.S.-Japan alliance that arose in the aftermath of the bitter conflict and became a "cornerstone of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region," Obama said.

Photo taken from a Japanese plane during the Pearl Harbor attack
Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy

Fujiko Tamura Gardner was 9 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked. She remembers hearing about it on the radio at her parents’ farm in Fife, Washington.

“I just remember the horror and not really understanding what was going on and what was going to happen,” Gardner said.

Stephen Bannon, center left, back, campaign CEO for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, looks on as Trump speaks during a campaign rally on Election Day.
AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

In journalism, we avoid wonk.

Which is why we at KUOW discussed whether to use the term “alt-right.” Mainstream news sites have plugged it into headlines, but our readers and listeners were confused. What does that label even mean?

Online editor Isolde Raftery reads an old residential ledger at the Puget Sound Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives in Bellevue.
KUOW Photo/Amina Al-Sadi

First, an admission.

We were clueless when we started researching the house at 1643 South King Street in Seattle's International District.

As the U.S. Army Air Corps prepared to unleash the world's first attack by an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, Japanese schoolgirl Kikue Takagi, age 12, woke up feeling sick and stayed home that day.

Her classmates were sent to Hiroshima's city center to clean up debris, doing their part in the war effort as Japan struggled to hold off the rapidly approaching U.S. military. Those students were near ground zero when the American bomb obliterated the city.

At home on the outskirts of Hiroshima, Takagi was spared.

Nicholas Winton is often referred to as "Britain's Schindler."

He was a young British stockbroker when, in December 1938, he canceled a trip to go skiing in Switzerland, and instead went to visit a friend in Prague who was helping refugees fleeing from the Nazis.

A reprint of Adolf Hitler's notorious autobiography, Mein Kampf, or "My Struggle," is for sale in German bookstores today for the first time in 70 years.

The annotated edition is being published by the Munich-based Institute for Contemporary History, and its editors say the new version points out Hitler's lies and errors and includes critical commentary on how the original version, published in the 1920s, influenced Nazi atrocities.

Siblings David Ko and Karen Ko
Courtesy of StoryCorps

When Roy and Alice Ko were released from internment camps after World War II, they ended up in Richland, Washington – home to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Their children David and Karen Ko talked about growing up in Richland in the years after the war.

Army recruits in Seattle being fitted for uniforms after the Pearl Harbor attack, 1941.
Courtesy of MOHAI, Seattle P-I Collection, PI28235

David Hyde speaks with local historian and radio producer Feliks Banel about the reaction of the Pearl Harbor attack in Seattle and the lasting impact it left on the city. 

In January 1945, in a German POW camp, a U.S. soldier named Roddie Edmonds defied the threat of death to protect the Jewish troops under his command.

Seventy years later, he's being recognized for his valor.

It's the first time a U.S. soldier has been named Righteous Among the Nations, an honor from Israel's Holocaust remembrance and research center reserved for non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

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