• Manzanar National Historic Site - Independence, California

      Photo by Mark Sedenquist
      Ten war relocation centers were created in World War II to house Japanese US citizens. About 2/3 of the 10,000 Japanese-Americans interned at Manzanar were US citizens and most of the rest had been living in the United States for decades. The 500-acre housing site was surrounded by barbed wire and patrolled by US military police and guard dogs. There is an exceptional film about this location in the visitor center and a collection of artifacts. Manzanar can be a painful place to visit, but it's well worth a visit. There is a self-guided driving tour that should be taken.

      If you go:
      Be sure to look at the exhibits and take the short walk to the reconstructed barracks. The 814 acre site is open every day from dawn to dusk.


      5001 Highway 395
      Independence, California 93526 USA

      Mailing address:
      P.O. Box 426
      Independence, CA 93526 USA

      Phone Numbers:

      Visitor Information
      +1 (760) 878-2194, ext. 3310

      Comments 2 Comments
      1. Carpe Diem's Avatar
        Carpe Diem -
        Thanks for posting this one, Mark. Having been there last year, I count it as a must-do for every American driving anywhere near the site. Yes, it is out of the way. Yes, it is dismal. And yes, it makes you reflect on the fact that we are not a perfect nation and have often treated our citizens in ways that make us burn with shame today. I learned a great deal about that era and the resiliency of America's immigrants.
      1. Peter Thody's Avatar
        Peter Thody -
        First learned about this on one of Ken Burns' documentaries - definitely want to visit when we're next in the region.