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Great re-enactment scenes with restored barracks and stories and voice recordings. Free but donations encouraged. It's shocking to me that some people on here think this is justifiable for Japanese Americans to be thrown into camps (they are not Japanese Japanese who bombed the Pearl Harbor). Very educational.
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.
To say that this site is sobering is an understatement. This is sadly something that should have never happened in this country, and visiting this monument is something that everyone should do at some point as a reminder as to why this should never happen again. There are meticulously reconstructed barracks, each with different exhibits inside showing the conditions in which the Japanese Americans were forced to live. The old gym building has the bulk of the exhibits, and I recommend starting there. There are also various other monuments spaced out along a drive that gives you an idea of the sheer size of the place as well as how many people were packed in there. There are a few gardens too in which people created places of solace for themselves, places that are a testament to the ingenuity of people who have been forced to move and stripped of most of their belongings. For me, this was a chance to learn about my family's history (my grandparents were interned in one of the other camps). Although saying something like, "I'm looking forward to going back," is weird, I would like to go back to see more of the site. It's definitely bigger than you think and probably needs at least half a day in order to see properly.
Is a great historical place with great exhibits and movies that help you understand the struggle that the a Japanese American suffered in the United States. I've learned so much about history here.
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.
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.
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.
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....
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.
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.
Interesting historical site with a surprisingly elaborate set of displays. Definitely worth an hour of your time, or more. I had driven by this place a few dozen times, and I'm so glad I finally stopped.
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.
If you're ever in the area of Lone Pine, California please stop by Manzanar to see this. It is very historical and informative. I wish we could have stayed longer so I could have read every single thing. As it was I scanned each poster.
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.
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.
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.
For my 500th review, I'd like to dedicate it to the Manzanar National Historic Site. When I was in middle school, I learned about the Japanese internment camps and read a lot of books relating to the topic, but seeing the actual site in real life was a totally different experience. My visit was during their annual pilgrimage anniversary. There were almost 2000 people in attendance with great guest speakers, cultural performances, and awesome guided tours. Each guest can visit each barrack to see the living conditions of the past, which was eye-opening because the conditions included no privacy for individuals or families, especially for bathroom use. The exhibits were also interactive where you can pick up the phone and hear recordings of different people, I'm guessing they're re-enacted, but they were done well where I really understood the internees' pain. A 20-minute movie was also showing in one of the theaters, which was a short and sweet. Each staff member and volunteer I encountered was genuinely nice. Admission is free, donations welcome. Small gift shop with great stuff on site. I didn't see any options for buying food. I'd love to come back and visit again.
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.
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