B. Erin Cole has worked at the History Colorado Center in downtown Denver for three years as the assistant state historian.
B. Erin Cole has worked at the History Colorado Center in downtown Denver for three years as the assistant state historian. She gives tours on many exhibits within the museum walls including the Amache exhibit. Japanese people that moved to America years before their people bombed Pearl Harbor faced prejudice people and couldn’t own land but only work on other people’s land.
After the Pearl Harbor bombing in 1941, 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans from the West Coast were forced into 10 concentration camps nationwide. These camps were located in California, Utah, Idaho, Arkansas, Wyoming, Arizona, and even Colorado. These concentration camps were opened from 1942 to 1945. The concentration camp in Colorado is called Amache, the elevation where Amache was located was 3,600 feet. The population in Amache was exactly 7,500 people. The places where the concentration camps were located were in areas that were far from any other civilization. Half of Colorado’s new imprisoned population was children, two-thirds were American citizens, but none of them were accused of crime. At first the concentration camps wouldn’t aloud any cameras. Some residents smuggled cameras in to take pictures of what the concentration camps were like. Amache residents lived in drab barracks with one window, one light bulb, a coal stove, and cots with thin mattresses. The barracks were leaky, small, didn’t provide much shelter from the weather, and didn’t provide much privacy. Despite the prison like conditions most of these Americans stayed true to the spirit of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The concentration camps were more like military bases then camps. After the Japanese Americans were let out of Amache they settled here because they had no land, houses, or businesses back from where they came. In the 1980’s, Ronald Regan signed a letter saying that the government was sorry for everything they did. They tried giving the people $20,000 but some people didn’t take the money because they didn’t think money would heal the pain of losing all there land and businesses.