Every Day at Manzanar National Historic Site

by Patricia Biggs, Park Ranger (Interpretive staff), Manzanar National Historic Site


Manzanar National Historic Site has become an intense place to work lately. Every day, at least one visitor (usually more) tells me that he/she is worried that the same racist, knee-jerk reaction discriminating against a minority group is happening again.

Every Day.

And, if you’re wondering, most of the visitors making that comment are white men. Now, I love the white men in my life, and I think they’d agree, that when U.S. White Men are concerned about racial discrimination, it’s hit a new level.

Read more of this post

Forum on Effects of Executive Order 9066 To Be Held at Temple Beth David

The following is an announcement from Temple Beth David.


To download a printable flyer,
click on the image above.
(Adobe Reader software required to view/print)

Joyce Okazaki, the Manzanar Committee’s Education Outreach Chair, will speak about the effects of Executive Order 9066, which was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. The event, sponsored by Temple Beth David, is scheduled for April 2, 2016 at 12:00 PM.

Executive Order 9066 resulted in the unjust incarceration of over 110,000 Japanese Americans and their immigrant parents in ten American concentration camps and other confinement sites during World War II. One of more than 11,000 people who were incarcerated at Manzanar, located in California’s Owens Valley, Okazaki will focus on the discriminatory legislation that was passed prior to World War II and how the Executive Order affected her life as a child.

As Education Outreach Chair, Okazaki has traveled throughout Southern California to speak at middle schools, high schools, college Social Science classes, libraries, church groups, organizations, and at March Air Force Base.

Read more of this post

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 http://www.youtube.com and typing in “ManzanarNPS” or by following this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVrqWFbuonduneCCwt4KnNQ.

Read more of this post