A ‘What If’ that was all too true

Museum hosts exhibit honoring Japanese-Americans who served and were incarcerated in WW II

The new year brings a new exhibit to The History Museum of Hood River County.

“What if Heroes Were Not Welcome Home?” moves to Hood River Jan. 2 from the Oregon Historical Society, where it was unveiled in August with the sons and daughters of the World War II internees as honored guests.

The History Museum’s exhibit will host a special exhibit and event on Jan. 12, termed “Heroes Unheralded,” a thank-you celebration to remember the experiences of Japanese American citizens in World War II, and honor those who braved prejudices to help them or speak out against their treatment, according to Connie Nice, museum coordinator.

Local History

“What If” exhibit runs Jan. 2 to Feb. 26.

“Heroes Unheralded” takes place Jan. 12,

at 2 p.m.

During World War II, Japanese Americans born and raised in Hood River served heroically with the United States Armed Forces in the South Pacific and in Europe. At the same time, many of their family members were unjustly incarcerated in concentration camps on American soil. When these soldiers returned home to Oregon at the end of the war, the welcome they received was anything but heroic.

Many of the faces and names in the exhibit will be recognizable.

This exhibition uses firsthand accounts, photos, letters, and historical documents to show how wartime events brought national notoriety to the small community of Hood River.

The exhibit is curated by Hood River native Dr. Linda Tamura, a historian and author, and Marsha Matthews, and is on tour through the Oregon Historical Society.

In coordination with this exhibit, The History Museum of Hood River County will also include opportunities for school and group tours as well as special activities for kids in the museum’s Exploration Space.

For tour information, contact Education Coordinator Carly Squyres at thmvolunteer@hrecn.net.


The History Museum of Hood River County is located at 300 E. Port Marina Drive, Hood River. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There is no admission charge for visiting the exhibit or attending the special celebration event on Jan. 12.

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