President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. The order authorized the military to designate “military areas” from which “any or all persons may be excluded.” In June of 1942 all Japanese Issei and Nisei people were evacuated Wednesday under U. S. Army supervision. The Great Northern depot in Burlington was the scene of excitement and tearful farewells, as Japanese from Skagit, Whatcom, San Juan and Island counties gathered with baggage and belongings and transported to Tule Lake in California.
There were a few families of issei and nisei who worked in the oyster beds and farmed potatoes. The local photographer and the laundry owner was also Japanese.
Newsclippings from the Burlington Journal document this event that took place in June. See our Hub History page to see the clippings and further information about the Internment of local Japanese. For the conclusion of the Burlington story, which is more positive than most. See the unpublished Master’s Thesis describing how this event affect the local Takagi and Akita families by Alyssa Joy Vis “Where everybody knows your name: growing up Japanese in Burlington, WA, 1920-1942” (2013). WWU Masters Thesis Collection. 316.