Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The renovation of a former Denver pharmacy has turned up stacks of letters from Japanese-American internment camps during World War II, providing a glimpse into life there.
The pharmacy was owned by Japanese-Americans and people at some of the 10 internment camps wrote seeking to buy medicine as well as cosmetics, hair dye and condoms.
About 250 letters and postcards came tumbling out of a wall during the work. How they got there is a mystery, particularly because other documents were found in the open.
Internees earned some money from camp jobs and were able to order from catalogs and companies who advertised in camp newspapers.
Colorado state historian William Convery says it could have been one of the few Japanese-American-owned pharmacies in the West.