"PLAY BALL": WORDS TO REMEMBER MANZANAR
Baking in the California desert 220 miles northeast of Los Angeles and at the foot of Mt. Whitney sits what used to
be a ballpark—one that wouldn't even qualify for the minor leagues today but whose very presence is just as
elemental to U.S. history as Ebbets Field.
The dirt diamond—its baselines still visible beneath 57 years' worth of sagebrush—rests squarely along Highway
395 on the eastern border of what was once euphemistically called the Manzanar War Relocation Center.
By now, the history of Manzanar is well out of the shadows. In early 1942, Gen. John L. DeWitt and California Atty.
Gen. Earl Warren—casting about for a reason to get rid of all Japanese Americans living on the West Coast—
invented a kind of Silly Putty logic that promptly put the Bill of Rights on the endangered list.
"The fact that there have been no instances of espionage to date indicates how devious these people really are,"
warned DeWitt, "and points to an almost certain plot in the future."
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