National Parks Conservation Association Says Rep. Miller Legislation Would Increase Education at Port Chicago, Honor Those in Service

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   July 20, 2007
Contact:   Lindsay Buhles, NPCA 415.989.9921 x22


National Parks Conservation Association Says Rep. Miller Legislation Would Increase Education at Port Chicago, Honor Those in Service

Statement by Neal Desai, Bay Area Program Manager:

"The National Parks Conservation Association applauds Congressman George Miller for introducing legislation today that would incorporate Port Chicago as a full unit of our National Park System.

Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, which commemorates its 63rd anniversary on Saturday, holds only affiliated National Park unit status. Rep. Miller’s legislation would provide federal dollars needed to repair the facility, operate a visitor center and hire educational rangers in order to educate our youth about the lessons of Port Chicago.

The Port Chicago explosion was the largest U.S. home front disaster during World War II, killing 320 men, 202 of whom were African American. The explosion, work stoppage, and subsequent mutiny trial provide insights into the injustice of racial discrimination, the African American experience in the U.S. military, and home front life during the Second World War. These events ultimately led to the desegregation of the armed services in the United States.

If we want to work towards solving the complex issues of racial and social injustice, we must continue to educate ourselves, and especially the youth of this country, about our common history, including the story of Port Chicago."

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