Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Inventory of the Department of Social Welfare - War Services Bureau Records
F3729  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (171.31 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Agency History
  • Accruals
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Collections at the California State Archives
  • Oral Histories

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Department of Social Welfare -- War Services Bureau Records
    Collection Number: F3729
    Creator: Department of Social Welfare
    Creator/Collector: War Services Bureau
    Extent: 6 cubic feet
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: The records of the War Services Bureau consist of six cubic feet of textual records as well as 42 photographs, reflecting the Bureau's work with Civilian War Assistance, Enemy Alien Assistance, and Japanese Evacuation. The records, dated from 1940 to 1948, are organized into thirty-three series. Several series are further divided into a number of subseries. The records document the experience of civilians in California during the Second World War.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Department of Social Welfare, War Services Bureau, F3729.[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the Department of Social Welfare, War Services Bureau Records according to state law.

    Agency History

    The Bureau of War Services was created within the Division of Public Assistance in 1941 to administer three programs developed at the request of the Federal Security Agency (Dept. of Social Welfare, Biennial Report, 1940-42, p. 7), Civilian War Assistance, Enemy Alien Assistance, and Japanese Evacuation. The first two programs were funded by a Presidential allocation of $5 million made on February 6, 1942 to be expended...for providing temporary aid necessitated by enemy action to civilians...who are disabled, dependents of civilians who are killed, disabled, interned or reported as missing, or who are otherwise in need of assistance or service ( A Summary of the Civilian War Assistance Program, February 6, 1942-June 30, 1948). Civilian War Assistance and related services was administered by the U. S. Bureau of Public Assistance through operating agreements with state and local public welfare agencies acting as agents for the Bureau.
    Japanese evacuation and relocation threw the greatest burden on the Department of Social Welfare. This program fell into two phases: voluntary and controlled. In February, 1942, a series of 26 centers were established under control of the Department of Justice to relocate enemy aliens and Japanese citizens from prohibited and restricted areas. Beginning in March, 1942, Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, Commanding General of the Western Defense Command, issued a series of proclamations designating military areas and zones from which all aliens of Japanese nationality had to be evacuated. A Wartime Civilian Control Administration and War Relocation Authority were set up to administer different phases of the program and the State Department of Social Welfare and county welfare agencies called upon to provide necessary staff. Between April and August of 1942 thousands of Japanese-Americans and their families were relocated through over a hundred control stations. At the conclusion of hostilities there was a parallel but reverse relocation of these same Japanese from centers as far away as Florida.
    Another responsibility of the Department of Social Welfare centered around the impact of defense programs on the civilian population. Under the State Council of Defense (Chapter 561, Statutes of 1941), and later the State War Council (Chapter 294, Statutes of 1943), the principle defense planning offices, departmental field representatives and staff worked with individual county welfare departments to secure an up-to-date picture of the welfare department's place in the local defense setup. Most of the activity centered with Council of Defense programs. A Committee on Health, Welfare, and Consumer Interest, one of six standing committees, particularly involved the Department of Social Welfare as Director Martha Chickering served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Welfare.
    For additional information on the above programs see: A Summary of the Civilian War Assistance Program, February 6, 1942 - June 30, 1948 (n.d.); War Programs of the Department (November 24, 1943); and The Evacuation of Japanese in California (n.d.).

    Scope and Content Note

    The records of the War Services Bureau consist of six cubic feet of textual records as well as 42 photographs, reflecting the Bureau's work with Civilian War Assistance, Enemy Alien Assistance, and Japanese Evacuation. The records, dated from 1940 to 1948, are organized into thirty-three series. Several series are further divided into a number of subseries. The records document the experience of civilians in California during the Second World War. Program activities included assistance and services to civilians injured as a result of enemy attack, or action to meet such attack, including volunteer air-raid wardens, airplane spotters, and volunteer firemen and policemen; evacuation from Hawaii and Alaska of non-essential civilian residents; and wartime and post-war assistance to evacuees and repatriates from the Philippines and the Pacific and European war theatres. The records relating to enemy aliens and enemy alien assistance include correspondence, reports, photographs that document the internment of Japanese-Americans during the war.

    Accruals

    No further accruals are expected.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    California. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
    Water pollution
    Air quality
    Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)

    Related Collections at the California State Archives

    California State War Council Records
    Patrick Johnston Papers

    Oral Histories

    James Rowe, Percy Heckendorf, Tom Clark, Edward Ennis and Herbert Wenig, "Japanese-American Relocation Reviewed, Vol. I: Decision and Exodus," an oral history conducted by Rosemary Levenson, Amelia Fry and Miriam Stein, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, 1976.
    Robert Cozzens, Dillon Myer and Ruth Kingman, "Japanese-American Relocation Reviewed, Vol. II: The Internment," an oral history conducted by Rosemary Levenson, Amelia Fry and Miriam Stein, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, 1976.