Independence, CA 93526
Wonderful monument to something that should never be repeated in the United States. Many of the younger generation dont know how the Japanese were treated in the United States after WW2 in this camp and others. On our way passing through I found this camp. My wife has family who were put in these types of camps during the war. It was a honor to be able to visit the site where the Japanese were placed. There are remenants of areas where the Japanses lived and worked and also a little museum which depicts their lives there. This is a must see for everyone. We need to learn about and pass on our history so we do not repeat the same mistakes.
One of the most heartwrenching national monuments I have ever encountered. Everyone must learn this piece of shameful American history. The stories of families an their treatment is eye opening and verges on unbelievable. To send 120,000 to camps across the nation and strip them of everything they can't carry. This is a must see visitor center and display. Then tour the grounds and see the monument to those who passed in these facilities. All. Beyond words.
It was done for our protection! After the Pearl Harbor attack. We didn't know who was good or bad so this was a holding area during the war. It's sad that this had to be done. Driving around the outside grounds looking at where the wire fences were and the markers where the buildings were and knowing how hot it was during the summer months and how cold it was during the winter months was very hard on those being held in the camps.
A great place to visit. All of our history whether it be good or bad should be remembered. Just the fact that they're keeping the memory of what happened here alive is what makes it great. Although being confined anywhere wouldn't be fun. But if you had to be confined somewhere what a beautiful landscape! Definitely a place that provokes a lot of thought and soul searching. Worth a visit.
Sad but intriguing part of US history. There's not much left of the grounds but definitely worth a stop to learn about the history of Manzanar. If you're on your way up or down from Mammoth or you're in nearby Lone Pine, stop by and take in the center to get a sense of concentration camp life. Even though the majority of the camp has been destroyed, if you stand and look at the empty space, you can still just imagine the harshness of it all. Over 10,000 cramped in this space....
We decided to stop at this museum because my step-dad is Japanese and because we had an interest in the history of this site. I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing and interesting the museum was. If you like history, you should definitely take time to visit. It is small and nicely set up. There are also original barracks where the families lived. The space is definitely filled with a ton of emotion. I highly recommend it!
I have always had an interest in the history of WWII and tried to pass that on to my kids. My youngest happened to be studying the subject in school recently and he suggested a stop at Manzanar on a recent road trip. Great call on his part. I'm going to avoid any editorial on the subject and let each person take away what is important to them from this powerful and moving historical site. The Feds did a wonderful job of preserving this site. The museum itself is modern with great displays explaining the Manzanar saga. The Ranger at the front desk added some very informative information (sorry, I didn't catch his name). A driving tour is offered, with the ability to stop anywhere on the property to explore and reflect. I am thankful our country takes the time and spends our tax dollars on preserving our history so many generations can learn from it in such a "hands on" way.
Nice place for a pitstop. We stopped here on our way to Mammoth. I just finished teaching the book Farewell to Manzanar with my summer school class. I figured it would be nice to stop and take some pictures so I could show them the next time we read it. The visitor center was really informative. We only stopped a few times on the Auto Tour due to the high heat and risk of snakes being out. The cemetery was very beautiful. I would love to go back in winter when we can spend more time there.
Personally knowing friends who stayed at this internment/concentration/relocation camp in the 1940's, and listening to stories of what they lived and suffered, I had to make the trip and stop here to see for myself. Definitely an eye opener and educational to see it first hand. Highly recommended.
Before I begin, I've seen a bit of hedging around the morality of Japanese American internment in a review or two and I wanted to mention the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 which President Reagan signed offering an apology as well as (skimpy) reparations to living survivors. In 1991, President George H. W. Bush issued a letter to survivors apologizing for the injustice as well. There's no question here- this was a shameful exercise of racism, fear, and greed. Having established that, Manzanar is a deeply emotional place to visit. The Parks Service has done a remarkable job in recreating buildings to really give visitors a sense of the lack of privacy as well as the feeling of isolation. I've attended the annual pilgrimage and visited two other times (once in spring and once in winter to try and get a feel for what living here must have been like in the different seasons) and I've gotten something different out of each experience. The exhibits manage to feel respectful and intimate without crossing over into ghoulish or exploitative. The Parks Service did a great job in staffing as well. The folks I interacted with were helpful and compassionate. It's a lot to take in and when I started getting teary-eyed, a box of Kleenex quickly appeared from a Ranger who kindly assured me I wasn't the first person to cry here. The gift shop is a decent size and I picked up several postcards, a magnet, and other small items. Since this site is free to visit, there's also an opportunity to make a donation. There's ample parking available and a paved loop around the grounds where you can take a driving tour if you'd like. It's easily accessible from the highway and hosts interesting events throughout the year. As an American of Japanese descent, I stop by Manzanar whenever I am in the area and would like to eventually visit the other internment sites (Tule Lake, Topaz, Rohwer, Minidoka, Jerome, Heart Mountain, Gila River, Poston, Amache) as well but, honestly, a visit to one of these camps (or, at the very least, a decent education about them) should be encouraged for all American citizens.
Honestly great experience and surreal. They really provided everyone with realistic reality of what this experience was like. They made sure that everyone who walks in knew this was a result of racism and fear. For making something from nothing after our country tried to pretend it never happened they did a great job sharing the lives of the citizens torn away from their lives to be placed here. Pay your respects at the cemetery and stop to hear the stories of those that lives here. This shouldn't be forgotten so we never do something like this again.
It's a nice pit stop on the way home from mammoth. It was closed when we went but we walked around the grounds. I think the fever jenny funding stopped that's why it's closed now. But you can walk around try and look into the buildings or try and play basketball. It was nice to get I touch with my culture considering my grandparents were in internment camps.
Definitely a must see place! Very informative and an excellent reminder for us all to never repeat these atrocities. This is free and has a nice gift shop too. Plenty of parking.
Such a humbling experience. Learned so much and end the kids did. The drive around made it more realistic. Beautiful facility too! Next time hopefully we can catch the video
Anyone who's traveling anywhere near this remote area absolutely needs to stop for a visit here and pay homage to a particularly dark, shameful period in American history. While there are few original structures left standing, this is indeed the site of Manzanar, a concentration camp operated by the U.S. government for Japanese-Americans during World War II. Even though Japan wasn't the only country America was at war with, Japanese-Americans were singled out for imprisonment here and at other concentration camps, even though they were patriotic, law-abiding Americans like anyone else. They were robbed of their livelihoods, forced to abandon their homes and possessions, and herded en masse to this remote location in exceptionally harsh terrain. The long drive out there is sobering enough. There's little vegetation around, as the landscape is arid and wind-swept. It's so windy, in fact, that it's difficult to open your car door and close it shut, let alone walk from the parking lot to the museum. Even inside, you can hear the howling wind rattling the walls of what's an otherwise sturdy museum building. The displays inside are exceptionally informative without being preachy - even though much righteous preaching against the horrors of racism is necessary in our current political climate. Despite the pitiful living conditions, those who were imprisoned in these concentration camps persevered with dignity; many never lost faith in the promise and supposed goodness of America. Worse yet, despite the damage done to so many people's lives, it took over 40 years after the end of the war for the U.S. government to issue a limp official apology. If you thought that episodes like this couldn't happen in America, this site is living proof that they have occurred in the past and, for all we know, are still happening under our current illegitimate regime. More people need to know about what happened here, because, as the saying goes, "if we fail to learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it." And we need to muster all the resistance in the world to combat all the evil elements out there - which are far more numerous than most would suspect - who sincerely want to repeat it.
Must stop. Surreal. Informative. Thought provoking. Free. Jr. Ranger program. Recommend 1.5-2 hrs to compete it. However, don't let that stop you. Because of funding (or lack of it), they close at 4:30 pm. We got there around 3:40 pm, but were able to finish the booklet and be sworn in as Jr Rangers, with the kind help of Ranger Sarah. The volunteers staff here went out of their way to make the experience meaningful and relevant, especially for the kids. Highly recommend. It's free, and less calories than a stop at Schaat's bakery. (But you can do both.) Not to be disrespectful, just emphasizing the need to stop here.
Very cool, even though the reasoning for this Historic Park is supremely sad. This is a portion of US history that many don't know. This is the place to learn and discuss. There are analogous displays which tie the Japanese experience to that currently being suffered by our undocumented immigrants. Too bad this is not taught at the level of the German WW2 atrocities.
As a history teacher this stop was a must! The land is haunting and teeming with history. Standing on the same sand as 10,000 innocent Americans who were held for nothing more than the slant of their eyes was truly a moment to be held with tremendous respect. The visitor's center and barracks were very well done. The staff was exceptional! And above all... This place was open on Easter Sunday!
When traveling 395, please take the time to stop at Manzanar. I had driven by this dozens of times and never stopped or even noticed the camp. The visitor center is very informative, and the cemetery is incredibly moving.
Five stars because this is exactly the sort of thing we as a nation need to remember. The exhibits in the visitor center are well done and walking and driving the grounds cannot fail to evoke some sort of emotion.
Manzanar National Historic
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Ask the Community
Is their any gas station nearby?
about 10 miles north and south of Manzanar on HWY 395. Read less
about 10 miles north and south of Manzanar on HWY 395.
Are dogs allowed and where?
I believe I saw a sign hanging in the museum saying dogs are not allowed in the museum or in the buildings on the property. Read less
I believe I saw a sign hanging in the museum saying dogs are not allowed in the museum or in the buildings on the property.