CA -- Independence -- Manzanar NHS:
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- Description of Pictures: The new Secretary of Commerce -- Norman Mineta -- is a Japanese-American who was held in an internment ("relocation") camp in Colorado during much of World War II. I ran across the Manzanar site, located ironically near the town of "Independence", in the book and decided to stop by. This is a site "in development" which means there isn't much there besides a cemetery (including a pet cemetery) [the cemetery had little folded paper animals strung on the barbed wire around it; I presume people who had been interned there came back later and put them up], an old auditorium, two guard booths, and some concrete floors from now-gone buildings. There was, however, a driving tour which had a map, described each of the areas, and talked about plans for the future.
I thought it was a fascinating place. I was the only person there for most of the time (no staff at all). The weather was hot and dry and you'd see the pictures and think about how they'd been forced to basically give up all of their possessions and move to this desolate spot, one of ten such sites in the western United States
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- Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
- MAN_000908_03.JPG: I never really thought about needing things like a pet cemetery but...
- MAN_000908_04.JPG: The main marker in the camp ground is in the cemetery
- MAN_000908_13.JPG: Manzanar National Historic Site
- MAN_000908_23.JPG: This had been the recreation center. It will become the visitor center.
- MAN_000908_24.JPG: You can see they've outlined where one of the barracks would have been
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- Wikipedia Description: Manzanar
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Manzanar is the site of one of ten American concentration camps, where more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II from March 1942 to November 1945. Although it had over 10,000 inmates at its peak, it was one of the smaller internment camps. The largest was the Tule Lake internment camp, located in northern California with a population of over 18,000 inmates. The smallest was Amanche, located southeastern Colorado, with over 7,000 inmates. It is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California's Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine to the south and Independence to the north, approximately 230 miles (370 km) north of Los Angeles. Manzanar means "apple orchard" in Spanish. The Manzanar National Historic Site, which preserves and interprets the legacy of Japanese American incarceration in the United States, was identified by the United States National Park Service as the best-preserved of the ten former camp sites.
The first Japanese Americans arrived at Manzanar in March of 1942, just one month after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, to build the camp their families would be staying in. Manzanar was in operation as an internment camp from 1942 until 1945. Since the last of those incarcerated left in 1945, former detainees and others have worked to protect Manzanar and to establish it as a National Historic Site to ensure that the history of the site, along with the stories of those who were incarcerated there, is recorded for current and future generations. The primary focus is the Japanese American incarceration era, as specified in the legislation that created the Manzanar National Historic Site. The site also interprets the former town of Manzanar, the ranch days, the settlement by the Owens Valley Paiute, and the role that water played in shaping the history of the Owens Valley.
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