Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps at which Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were interned during World War II. Located at the foot of the imposing Sierra Nevada in eastern California's Owens Valley, Manzanar has been identified as the best preserved of these camps.
History of the Area
March at Manzanar History:
1943: March 6th - Senior Prom for Manzanar High School is held in block 8. The theme of the prom was Cherry Blossom Festival.
March 16th - The first Manzanar high school graduation is held. 85 students graduate
March 17th - A fire broke out in the sagebrush and covered over 2,000 acres. The Manzanar Fire Department and volunteers, with help from the Military Police and crews from the Public Works Division and Police were able to put the fire out.
March 21st - Pioneer Day Dance is held in Mess Hall 15. Prizes were offered to the persons with the thickest beards.
March 31st - The Fire Department announced a Girls Fire College to train secretaries and stenographers. Earlier in the month, the fire chief announced tentative plans to start a fire fighting unit composed of girls since much of the manpower was leaving camp.
1944: March 4th - The hospital launched a center wide drive to collect old newspapers from the camp residents.
March 4th - The mess halls in seven blocks are scheduled to be closed. The mess halls in blocks 29, 31, 18, 6, 4, 14, and 16 were chosen so the "No one needs to cross a fire break for his meal" announced Chief Steward JosephWinchester.
March 6th - The Modern Dancing Class was resumed in Mess Hall 2. The class had been discontinued due to segregation.
March 15th - Susumu Katsuda won the monthly golf tournament. He went through the 18 hole grind, shooting 60.
March 16th - Thomas R. Bodine, the field director of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, met with high school seniors to discuss student relocation.
1945: March 9th - 24 residents receive notices for army examinations.
March 18th - The Reverend Douglas Noble was guest minister of the Manzanar Protestant Church. He is famous for his "Chapel on Wheels."
March 30th - A lack of patrons closes the library in block 22-15. The population of the camp has fallen below 5,300 residents.
An interpretive center in the restored Manzanar High School auditorium offers extensive exhibits, a twenty minute introductory film, and a book store. Allow 1 - 2 hours to see the exhibits and film. From November 1 through March 31 the center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily (closed December 25). From April 1 through October 31 the center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.
A 3.2 mile tour road will take you past the sentry posts, camp auditorium, ruins of the administrative complex, concrete foundations of many types, rocks gardens, portions of the water systems, and the camp cemetery.
Guided tours are offered by park rangers. For the current schedule, consult the News area of our website or call 760-878-2194 ext. 10. Schools and tour groups may request reservations for special programs as staffing allows.
The Manzanar National Historic Site Interpretive Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. It will be closed on December 25. The center includes 8,000 square feet of exhibits, a bookstore, and theaters which show the site's award-winning 22-minute film "Remembering Manzanar" every half hour.