Manzanar Committee Mourns Loss of Former Manzanar NHS Superintendent Frank Hays

Former Manzanar National Historic Site Superintendent Frank Hays
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Tom Clayton
Courtesy National Park Service

LOS ANGELES — The Manzanar Committee extends its deepest sympathies to the family of former Manzanar National Historic Site Superintendent Frank Hays, who passed away due to a heart attack on March 3, which was, coincidentally, the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of the Manzanar NHS.

A 58-year-old native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Hays was the Associate Regional Director for Natural and Cultural Resource Stewardship and Science for the Northeast Regional Office of the National Park Service (NPS). He served as the Superintendent of Manzanar NHS from April 2001 to July 2005, overseeing Manzanar NHS’ transition from having virtually no staff and no on-site facilities to a much larger staff and a full-blown Visitor’s Center, which opened in 2004.

After his work at Manzanar NHS, Hays went on to work in Hawai’i as the Pacific Area Director for the Pacific West Region and as Acting Superintendent at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Memorial, which includes the USS Arizona Memorial.

Read more of this post

Manzanar Launches YouTube Channel In Honor Of 25 Years As A National Historic Site

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

Screen capture of Manzanar National Historic Site’s
new YouTube channel
(click above to view larger image)

INDEPENDENCE, CA — On March 3, 1992, after decades of grass-roots efforts by Japanese Americans and others, led by the Manzanar Committee, Congress established Manzanar National Historic Site. Since then, the National Park Service (NPS) has worked closely with the Manzanar Committee as well as scores of stakeholders to preserve and interpret Manzanar.

On March 3, 2017, in recognition of the 25th Anniversary of Manzanar National Historic Site, the National Park Service launched a new YouTube Channel featuring some of Manzanar’s video and audio resources. The channel can be located by visiting and typing in “ManzanarNPS” or by following this link:

Read more of this post

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

Warren Furutani
(click above to view larger image)
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.

Read more of this post

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.

Read more of this post