Sunday, August 22, 2010

State apologizes for mistreatment of Italian residents during WWII - latimes.com

State apologizes for mistreatment of Italian residents during WWII - latimes.com

Legislature passes resolution expressing 'deepest regret' for the wartime internment, curfews, confiscations and other indignities that thousands of Italian and Italian American families faced.

When Mike Maiorana was a boy during World War II, his family was like a lot of others in his Monterey neighborhood.

In 1942, his mother was declared an "enemy alien," along with 600,000 other Italians and half a million Germans and Japanese who weren't U.S. citizens. More than once, men in suits searched the Maiorana house for guns, flashlights, cameras, shortwave radios — anything that could be used to signal the enemy.

Like 10,000 others up and down the California coast, the family was suddenly forced to uproot. At their new place in Salinas, they had to be home by 8 p.m. or face arrest. And when the government seized fishing boats for the war effort, Maiorana's dad, a naturalized U.S. citizen, saw his livelihood go down the drain.

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