Manzanar National Historic Site


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Manzanar became a registered California Historic Site in 1972, and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985. In 1992, Congress passed enabling legislation that designated Manzanar a National Historic Site. Efforts to preserve the site and protect it as a state and national historic landmark began in earnest during the 1970s through grassroots efforts of Nisei and Sansei activists who wanted to make sure the tragedy that Japanese Americans endured during World War II never happened again. Today the National Park Service administers the site and offer extensive interpretation of the site's many layers of history from 1885 to the present, focusing on the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans, but also including the site's Native American history, agricultural history, and the role that Manzanar continues to play as a site of pilgrimages and civil rights public education.
Authored by Cherstin M. Lyon, California State University, San Bernardino

For More Information

Burton, Jeffrey F., et al. Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002.

Manzanar Committee. "Our History."

Manzanar National Historic Site official website.

Nakagawa, Martha. "The Shadow Warrior," Rafu Shimpo July 8, 2011.

Thompson, Erwin N. "Inventory—Nomination Form: National Registry of Historic Places." United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service. August 12, 1984.

Wyatt, Barbara, ed. Japanese Americans in World War II: A National Historic Landmarks Theme Study. National Historic Landmarks Program, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior: Washington, D.C., 2012.