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Our Daily Diary, March 11, 1943

This is a page from a 3rd-grade class diary at the internment camp at Topaz, Utah, where the government imprisoned people of Japanese descent during World War II. Mouse over the page to learn more. Or you can read the text here.

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"Yesterday we started to join the American Junior Red Cross."

(Miss Yamauchi’s class joined the American Junior Red Cross to help with the war effort.)

"Please remember to put 10% of your pay into war bonds and stamps."

(War bonds and stamps were one way the government financed the army during World War II. Even though the people at Topaz were imprisoned by the U.S. government, most supported the government and the war.)

"We should not kill spider because Uncle Sam needs them for the war."

(The class decided not to kill spiders but to collect them for Uncle Sam, or the government. Many things were collected for the government during World War II, like rubber, money, copper, and paper--but spiders? The government actually saved spiders for the "silk" used to make their webs. The government did not make giant spider webs as a defense! The spider’s silk was used for very precise measurements needed for gun sights and telescopes. Do you think you would take the time to collect spiders and other things if the government asked you to?)

"Lynn will get a new refrigerator today."

"Blocks 3, 16, 22, 23 had no running water this morning because the water pipe broke at the high school grounds. The people in these blocks went to other places to wash their faces and brush their teeth."

(Life in the barracks at Topaz had lots of challenges. A broken water pipe like this was just one example.)