Today marks the 70th Anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. Obviously this photograph was not taken by me but it is an original photograph that I scanned. The photograph was from the collection of Tatsume Iwate the grandfather of a friend’s ex who passed away a few years ago. From what I can tell he was a amateur photographer and had a collection of negatives that date back to his family’s arrival here in San Francisco from Japan in the early 1900’s. I do have some photos that I scanned that shows the boat that he arrived in. What I’m not sure of is if this photograph was passed on to him or if he was the one that photographed it. I’ll never find out as I don’t have any contact with the family. More after the jump with a photograph of the bridge on opening day.
Mr. Iwate was a World War II vet and a Sargent in the 442 Regimental Combat Troop , a highly regarded and decorated Japanese American combat troop known for their bravery & honor despite the fact that they were extremely discriminated against and their family members were interned by the US government. Via the link he was injured in France.
Now the question is how did I end up with these photographs. Well the family did not want them and were going to throw all of them away. Among the things they were going to throw out were original paintings and one in particular was a portrait of a Japanese American woman while she was interned in the camps. Needless to say I kept it and it’s hanging in our bedroom as we speak. In addition to the paintings and photographs, they were also going to throw out Mr. Iwate’s Army uniform, a medal (I suspect it was a Purple Heart as he was injured but I can’t recall for sure) and letters he wrote to his brother in one of the camps in Colorado while he overseas fighting the war. I also kept those and donated all of them to the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles. I’m perplexed as to why they wanted to throw all this out. I don’t know what they managed to throw away before I got it and I’m hoping I got most of it. I’ll never know and I’m glad I kept what I did. I’ll most likely post them on Flickr as I start scanning them as I have a variety of photographs.
POTD: Archive photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge from the San Francisco Chronicle.