BIJAC History - Walt and Milly Woodward
Two months before Pearl Harbor, Walt and Milly Woodward pledged in a front page editorial to "always strive to speak the truth, unafraid, whether it be on a national issue or something purely local." In 1940, the young couple–barely thirty–had purchased the weekly Bainbridge Review, a chatty conveyor of neighborhood gossip. A year later, when the U.S. entered WWII, the couple had transformed the Review into a respected community paper full of current, factual news, and an editorial page that drew national attention.
The day after Pearl Harbor, Milly and Walt Woodward warned, "There is the danger of a blind, wild hysterical hatred of all persons who can trace ancestry to Japan. That some of those persons happen to be American citizens...easily could be swept aside by mob hysteria." Urging Islanders to remain calm, the Woodwards continued, " The Review says this: These Japanese Americans of ours haven't bombed anybody...They have given every indication of loyalty to this nation. They have sent...their own sons–six of them–into the United States Army."
The Woodwards continued, throughout the war, to speak against the constitutional violations inherent in E.O. 9066. The tiny Bainbridge Review has been singled out nationally as the lone newspaper to take such a stand. Also, in an attempt to report accurately on Islanders' lives, Milly and Walt Woodward hired high school students to report from Manzanar and, later, Minidoka on the daily events in the exiles' lives. Thus Islanders could keep track of each other. Perhaps as a result of that, 150 of the 272 exiled Islanders returned to Bainbridge, a greater percentage than most communities.
SLIDESHOW — This is a collection of photos, artifacts, and awards from the Walt and Milly Woodward collection. They span from the early years of the Bainbridge Review to the late 1980s.
Oral History Clip (OH0078 - Mary Woodward) 4:38 — Walt and Milly's background
Oral History Clip (OH0079 - Mary Woodward) 3:04 — Early years at the Review
Oral History Clip (OH0080 - Mary Woodward) 3:31 — First controversial news story
Oral History Clip (OH0081 - Mary Woodward) 2:36 — War Extra printed by the Review newspaper
Oral History Clip (OH0083 - Mary Woodward) 4:26 — Woodwards' reactions to Executive Order 9066
Oral History Clip (OH0085 - Mary Woodward) 2:48 — Walt gives advice to some Nisei
Oral History Clip (OH0086 - Mary Woodward) 3:20 — Camp correspondents and column in the Review
Oral History Clip (OH0087 - Mary Woodward) 2:05 — Reactions in the BI community to Woodwards' stand against exclusion
Learn more about the — Woodward Foundation and IN DEFENSE OF OUR NEIGHBORS, a book by Mary Woodward