2004 April 24

Manzanar Historic Site Interpretive Center Opens


Manzanar had been one of ten Relocation Centers in the evacuation and internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. It is now a historic site maintained by the National Park Service, and on this day, the Interpretive Center opened.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the evacuation of people designated by the military from the West Coast on February 19, 1942 (although his order did not mention the Japanese-Americans and did not specify what was to be done with them after they were evacuated).

The treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II is widely regarded as the greatest single violation of civil liberties in American history. On August 10, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the 1988 Civil Liberties Act, providing $20,000 in reparations to each living victim of the internment.

Visit Manzanar: http://www.nps.gov/manz/index.htm

Watch a documentary on Manzanar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgmY2P-xT_Y

Read a first-person account: Jeanne Wakatsuki Huston and James D. Houston, Farewell to Manzanar (2002)

Read: Greg Robinson, By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans (2001)

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