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Interview with Linus Pauling.
Interview with Linus Pauling. February 14, 1992.
Interview by Thomas Hager for use in "Force of Nature: The Life of Linus Pauling," (Simon & Schuster, 1995).

Pauling on the Japanese Gardener Incident, Part 1. (3:30)

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Linus Pauling: Some organization in Pasadena, or perhaps Los Angeles, telephoned my wife to say that there was an American soldier of Japanese ancestry - probably never been in Japan, I expect, born in the Sacramento valley or in southern California - an American soldier who had been inducted two weeks before, or a few days before, into the American Army and had been given leave to come to California on some family business. And it may be that his family was interned. I'm not sure about that. I don't remember. But the main point is he had been inducted into the army and allowed to return to California and wanted to make a little extra money. So would my wife hire him as a gardener? Nothing about - well, so far as I know he had never been to Japan. There was nothing about housing him, just giving him a job as gardener. So he came the next day, I think, and probably worked eight hours as a gardener and got paid for it. It was that night that our garage door was painted and our mailbox was painted. And then for a couple of weeks we had the sheriff put up a 24-hour guard at our place. I had to go back to Washington, D.C. in a day or two. We got several threatening letters, which I turned over to the authorities.

Thomas Hager: The FBI was called into the case - according to their files they came in and did an investigation as well. But it was you who, I assume after finding the graffiti, who called up the sheriff's department and notified them of the case and asked for help. Is that the way that that happened?

Linus Pauling: Well, after receiving these threatening letters, I think my wife called the sheriff and the sheriff said, "Well, that's what you get for hiring a Japanese worker." And my wife was an officer of ACLU I think at the time. At any rate she called the president of the Los Angeles chapter of ACLU, and she put pressure on the sheriff to put up a guard.


Creator: Thomas Hager, Linus Pauling
Associated: American Civil Liberties Union, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Clip ID: hager2.006.5-gardener-01

Full Work

Creator: Thomas Hager, Linus Pauling

Date: February 14, 1992
Genre: sound
ID: hager2.006.5
Copyright: More Information

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