Manzanar NHS At 25 Years Old: More Relevant Now Than Ever Before

The following is an expanded version of a story that will appear in the printed program for the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 29, 2017.


The east side of the Visitor Center at Manzanar National Historic Site.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

LOS ANGELES — A little over 25 years ago, after decades of hard work, Japanese American community activists, along with allies in California’s Owens Valley, celebrated a victory when the site of the Manzanar concentration camp, located along U.S. Highway 395 between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence, was designated as a National Historic Site on March 3, 1992, by an act of Congress.

It took twelve more years for the Manzanar National Historic Site to become a fully operational unit of the National Park Service, with its Visitor Center opening in April 2004. Since then, several physical elements of the World War II concentration camp have been reconstructed, additional exhibits continue to be developed, gardens are being excavated and rehabilitated, archaeological digs are uncovering more and more artifacts, and oral histories are being collected.

“It’s amazing,” said Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey. “It took 23 years to be designated as a National Historic Site. Then, it took twelve more years to build the Visitor Center and have a grand opening in 2004. It’s an amazing accomplishment.”

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MEDIA ADVISORY: 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage/2017 Manzanar At Dusk

To download a copy of this media advisory, along with guidelines for coverage of our events, click on the image above.
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LOS ANGELES — The 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage is scheduled for 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 begins the Pilgrimage program at 11:30 AM PDT, while the main portion of the program begins at noon.

The popular Manzanar At Dusk program follows that same evening, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, at the Lone Pine High School gymnasium, located at 538 South Main Street (U.S. Highway 395), in Lone Pine, nine miles south of the Manzanar National Historic Site, across the street from McDonald’s (see map below)..

For further details on these events, please follow our press releases on our blog, https://blog.manzanarcommittee.org.

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Alan Nishio: More Than 40 Years of Activism, Leadership and Mentorship

The following is an expanded version of a story about 2017 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award recipient Alan Nishio that will appear in the printed program for the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 29, 2017.


Alan Nishio
(click above to view larger image)
Photo courtesy Alan Nishio

LOS ANGELES — When one thinks of the most effective activists within the Japanese American community, of its best leaders and its top mentors, Alan Nishio has to be among the names atop the list.

For his more than 40 years of service to the community, Nishio has been named as the recipient of the Manzanar Committee’s 2017 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award.

The award, named after the late chair of the Manzanar Committee who was one of the founders of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and was the driving force behind the creation of the Manzanar National Historic Site, will be presented at the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at the Manzanar National Historic Site.

Before his family settled in the Venice/Mar Vista area of Los Angeles, Nishio, 71, was born on August 9, 1945, at the Manzanar concentration camp, one of the 11,070 Japanese and Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated there during World War II—more than 110,000 were incarcerated in ten American concentration camps and other confinement sites, usually for more than three years.

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AUDIO: Manzanar, Manzanar Pilgrimage The Focus of 99% Invisible Podcast

The cemetery monument at Manzanar.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

On March 28, 2017, the Manzanar Pilgrimage and its origins, along with the Manzanar National Historic Site, was the focus of 99% Invisible, a podcast that. “…is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about—the unnoticed architecture and design [and history] that shape our world. With 150 million downloads, 99% Invisible is one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes.”

You can find out more about 99% Invisible here.

Their podcast on Manzanar features interviews with Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar Committee co-founder Warren Furutani, Alisa Lynch of the Manzanar National Historic Site and Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey. You’ll also hear excerpts from Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar Committee co-founder Sue Kunitomi Embrey’s oral history with Densho.org.

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