Manzanar preserves one of the sites where the U.S. government incarcerated innocent civilians during World War II.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in 1942, giving U.S. armed forces broad powers to incarcerate anyone in the name of military defense. The government overwhelmingly used this power to imprison Japanese and Japanese Americans for having “foreign enemy ancestry.” Ultimately, the military kept 120,000 people under armed guard, mostly in isolated areas of the West, forcing them to leave their homes, businesses, possessions and normal lives behind for the duration of the war. Visitors to Manzanar today can imagine what life was like behind the barbed wire fences of an incarceration camp during this dark period of America’s history.
More about Manzanar
Blog Post A Glimpse into a Dark Part of America’s History A traveling park lover takes his mom into a windy desert landscape to try to imagine what life was like behind the barbed wire fences of a war relocation center more than 70 years ago.
Magazine Article Sand & Castles Death Valley comes to life in the middle of a California winter.
Blog Post The Legacy of Fred Korematsu He fought against his forced internment and incarceration, all the way to the Supreme Court. Today, the Park Service helps interpret the dark history behind World War II relocation camps.
Magazine Article The Art of Gaman Bearing the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity.