Manzanar NHS To Host Pilgrimage Weekend Events, April 28–30, 2017

The following is a press release from the National Park Service.


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INDEPENDENCE, CA — Manzanar National Historic Site invites visitors to participate in a weekend of special events in conjunction with the Manzanar Committee’s 48th Annual Pilgrimage. All are welcome and the events are free. This year’s Pilgrimage coincides with the 75th Anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing Executive Order 9066, ultimately authorizing the United States Army to forcibly remove and incarcerate all Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants in California, western Oregon and Washington, and southern Arizona.

The government incarcerated more than 11,000 men, women, and children in Manzanar.

This year also marks the 25th Anniversary of Congress’ establishment of Manzanar National Historic Site. It was the result of decades of grass-roots efforts by the Manzanar Committee, beginning on a cold, winter day in 1969, an event now considered the first Manzanar Pilgrimage.

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UCLA Kyodo Taiko To Perform At 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage

UCLA Kyodo Taiko performs at the 47th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage.
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Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

PILGRIMAGE: Bus transportation available, but seats are going fast

LOS ANGELES — UCLA Kyodo Taiko will perform at the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, located on U.S. Highway 395 in California’s Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence, approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles (see map below).

UCLA Kyodo Taiko will open the program at 11:30 AM PDT, while the main portion of the program will begin at 12:00 PM.

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Warren Furutani To Be A Featured Speaker at 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage

Warren Furutani
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Photo courtesy Warren Furutani

PILGRIMAGE: Bus transportation from Downtown Los Angeles and Gardena will be available.

LOS ANGELES — Former California State Assemblyman and long-time community activist Warren Furutani will be a featured speaker at the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, located on U.S. Highway 395 in California’s Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence, approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles (see map below).

Each year, over 1,000 people from diverse backgrounds, including students, teachers, community members, clergy and former incarcerees attend the Pilgrimage, which commemorates the unjust incarceration of over 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry in ten American concentration camps, and other confinement sites, located in the most desolate, isolated regions of the United States, during World War II. Manzanar was the first of the American concentration camps to be established.

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VIDEO: The First Manzanar Pilgrimage – 1969

Participants in the first organized Manzanar Pilgrimage in 1969
(click above to view larger image)
National Park Service Photo/Evan Johnson Collection

In 1969, approximately 150 people, mostly Japanese American college students, made the 230-mile trip to the site of the Manzanar concentration camp where 11,070 Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants (who were prevented by racist laws from naturalizing) were unjustly incarcerated during World War II.

Their journey was the first organized Manzanar Pilgrimage, which has become an annual event since then. This film, by Don and Ron Rundstrom, documents that first Pilgrimage and through the use of historic photographs from the Japanese American incarceration experience, the film also attempts to provide the historical context for that first Pilgrimage.

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