Shirley Henderson was born in Berkeley, California in 1923. Her family moved around during her childhood, spending time in Kingman, Arizona, Akron, Ohio, and Washington, DC, before settling again in California where she attended Berkeley High School. After graduating in 1941, Henderson attended college at the University of California, Berkeley before leaving school to work for the US Farm Credit Administration. She also became involved with the First Congregational Church, which was converted to a civilian control center for Japanese Americans during the war. In this interview, Henderson discusses her family and childhood, her time at Berkeley High School, life during the Depression, her experience at UC Berkeley, working at the US Farm Credit Administration during World War II, FDR’s death, the 1939 World’s Fair on Treasure Island, her activity with the First Congregational Church during the after the war, and her parents’ involvement in the war. She also speaks about Japanese Americans during the war and Port Chicago.




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