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Official name: Manzanar Relocation Center
Location: Inyo County, California, in the Owens Valley, 225 miles north of Los Angeles
Land: Land controlled by the City of Los Angeles for its municipal water supply
Size: 6,000 acres
Climate: Desert, extreme winters and summers. Mt. Whitney and Mt. Williamson could be seen in the distance, making Manzanar one of the most scenic of camp sites
Origin of camp population: Mostly from Los Angeles County (8,828)
Via "assembly centers": Manzanar began as an "assembly center";
Rural/Urban: Overwhelmingly urban Peak population: 10,046
Date of peak: September 22, 1942
Opening date: June 1, 1942; Manzanar began as a Wartime Civil Control Administration "assembly center" and opened on March 22, 1942; it came under War Relocation Authority jurisdiction on June 1.
Closing date: November 21, 1945
Project director(s): Roy Nash, Harvey N. Coverley, Solon T. Kimball and Ralph P. Merritt
Community analysts: John de Young and Morris E. Opler
JERS fieldworkers: Mari Okazaki and Togo Tanaka
Newspaper: Manzanar Free Press (April 11, 1942-September 8, 1945); the paper started while Manzanar was an "assembly center" and continued to publish through the camp's transfer to WRA jurisdiction
Percent who answered question 28 of the loyalty questionnaire positively: 86.9
Number and percentage of eligible male citizens inducted directly into armed forces: 174 (2.5%)
Industry: Manzanar had a camouflage net factory that operated from June to December 1942; also a garment factory, a cabinet shop and a mattress factory that produced goods for internal consumption
Miscellaneous characteristics: Manzanar was probably the most closely guarded of all the camps, due in part to its origin as a WCCA camp, its location within the Western Defense Command's restricted zone, and the extreme hostility of the local population. Counting its WCCA director (Clayton Triggs), Manzanar had five directors/managers in its first eight months. Merritt took over as director on November 19, 1942, and remained in this position until the camp's closing. Manzanar was a relatively turbulent center; the MANZANAR INCIDENT of December 1942 exposed deep rifts in the population.
Image credit: Gift of Carlyn Anne Busse, Japanese American National Museum (93.201.1A)

Camp Related Materials from the Japanese American National Museum

America's Concentration Concentration Camps sites on the Internet

Bibliography of Japanese Americans and America's Concentration Camps


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