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Dark side of U.S. history that built Catalina Highway

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A popular Mount Lemmon recreation site for rock climbers nicknamed Prison Camp pokes fun at the area’s history, with walls dubbed “Alcatraz” and “Jailhouse Rock.” The names are harmless, but some people might not know the brutal punishment that the U.S. government inflicted on Japanese Americans in that same area less than a century ago. In that spot, just seven miles up the Catalina Highway in Tucson, stood a Japanese American internment camp established after Pearl Harbor during World War II. The historical site is officially named after Gordon Hirabayashi, a Japanese American civil rights activists and one of the many prisoners who served at the camp, where they were forced to work on the highway’s construction. Hirabayashi was a senior at the University of Washington in 1942 when Pearl Harbor happened. He was one of only three Japanese Americans who brought lawsuits before the...

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