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Child of Japanese internment camp tells story

Edgefield's history night features Mitzi Loftus on Aug. 26


Mitzi Loftus was a child living in Hood River when her family was forced to leave its home and go to an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II.

President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 is an experience she and others who faced removal in the western United States will never forget.

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, doors open for Oregon Encyclopedia History Night’s “Detained by My Country” presentation. The free event will take place at 6:30 p.m. at McMenamins Edgefield’s Power Station Theater in Troutdale.

Seating is limited, and all ages are welcome.

Loftus and her family were forced to leave their home and belongings and move to Tule Lake Camp in Northern California, where they would live from 1942 to 1943.

At Tuesday’s history night, Loftus will describe her time spent at Tule Lake and show photographs from her personal collection.

She also will tell the story of her parents’ immigration from Japan to the United States in 1904 and 1911. She will describe the removal from her house in Hood River to internment camps as well as her family’s movements through World War II and re-settlement in Oregon, coinciding with discrimination they faced in the following years.

Born in Hood River, Loftus graduated from Hood River High School and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Oregon. She taught for three years at Creswell High School before attending the English Language Institute at the University of Michigan to prepare for a Fulbright Teacher year in Japan in 1957-1958.

Loftus worked in Coos Bay for more than 30 years as a substitute teacher before she moved to Ashland in 2004.

The Oregon Encyclopedia hosts a series of History Nights in collaboration with McMenamins pubs.

The evenings are focused on history and served up with food and a pint or two of good beer.



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