Recent articles about the new signage for the Griffith Park Internment Camp site contained inaccurate information, according to Dr. Russell Endo, retired professor of sociology and Asian American studies at University of Colorado, who provided research for the sign project.
In 1942, the former Civilian Conservation Corps camp held Japanese, German and Italian immigrants. The Army stopped using the site as an internment camp in July 1943.
Endo said that the incorrect information was included in the report by the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Commission. The number of detainees cited in the report — 101 Japanese, 21 Germans and Italians — “are people for whom I actually have names,” he said. “Many more individuals were incarcerated but I don’t know who they are.”
The report also stated that the camp was closed because the military guards were needed elsewhere, but Endo said, “The site closed mainly because the need for it diminished. By mid-1943, fewer ‘enemy aliens’ were being arrested and interned.”
The sign, which will be unveiled on April 20 at 10:30 a.m. at Griffith Park’s Travel Town, is based on research by Endo and Griffith Park historian Linda Barth. June Aochi Berk was instrumental in getting the project started and Tracy James of Parks Services guided it through the approval process.
If you can, please find out what company designed and manufactured the sign.
I am a retired commercial architectural and electrical sign designer and I can volunteer to help fix the design of the sign for free pro bono. I still have my design software.