Manzanar receives award for excellence for barracks exhibit

Press release
BLOOMINGTON, IN—During its annual meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) presented Manzanar National Historic Site barracks exhibit with their prestigious 2016 Stanton-Horton Award for Excellence in National Park Service History, which is given annually to recognize excellence in historical projects for, by, and with the National Park Service and is intended to honor projects, parks, or programs that make the NPS a leader in promoting public understanding of and engagement with American history.
The Manzanar National Historic Site barracks exhibit exemplifies the principles of scholarly excellence and civic engagement that the Stanton-Horton Award was established to honor.
The exhibit, installed in April 2015 within two 20′ x 100′ barracks reconstructed on the site where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II, was many years in the making, and involved the participation of practically the entire staff of Manzanar National Historic Site; additional NPS personnel from the Denver Service Center and the Pacific West Regional Office; and three outside contracting firms based in southern California, Virginia, and Maryland.
More important, the exhibit incorporates original archival and oral history research with the families of individuals who experienced life in the barracks seven decades ago, and in many cases, with the individuals themselves. These families not only contributed valuable historical materials but also helped shape the way those materials would be interpreted to the public throughout the planning process.
The high level of community engagement has only grown since the exhibits were installed, as the park has reached out to youths from inner city Los Angeles and the Owens Valley. The award committee especially commends the exhibit’s nuanced exploration of how internees grappled with the Loyalty Questionnaire that they were compelled to answer, in the process raising the larger question of what loyalty means in a multicultural democracy and who has the right to define it and question others about it.
The award was presented on April 9 by OAH’s 20151–16 President Jon Butler and 20161–17 President Nancy F. Cott.
For more information, visit
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Founded in 1907, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to American history scholarship. With more than 7,500 members from the U.S. and abroad, OAH promotes excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history, encouraging wide discussion of historical questions and equitable treatment of history practitioners.
It publishes the quarterly Journal of American History, the leading scholarly publication and journal of record in the field of American history for more than nine decades. It also publishes The American Historian magazine. Formerly known as the Mississippi Valley Historical Association (MVHA), the association became the OAH in 1965 to reflect a broader scope focusing on national studies of American history. The OAH national headquarters are located in the historic Raintree House on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


10 Responses to Manzanar receives award for excellence for barracks exhibit

  1. Bone April 21, 2016 at 11:29 am #

    Never forget those who died at Pearl Harbor.

    • kwak April 21, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

      Similarly, never forget to wash behind your ears. And don’t talk with your mouth full.

  2. Mountain Watchdog April 19, 2016 at 5:31 am #

    There are those who are so racially myopic in our society that they would justify the imprisonment of innocent people in Manzanar because “they don’t look like Americans.”
    Thankfully, their type is being exposed daily and is being severely rejected in the political arena.

  3. Low-Inyo April 18, 2016 at 6:00 pm #

    mountain watchdog……adding to your “sadly” list,and from what we’re seeing in the 2016 race to the White House,I think we can also add some type of hatred for women,and for those that don’t think 100 % the same way THEY think ….sadly..thankfully,they are in the minority…. soon,the chickens will come home to roost…and we’ll see even MORE angrier-er-er people than we saw the past 8 years….and even more of those cute little ” I hate ” bumper-stickers than we see now.

  4. mountain watchdog April 18, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

    There are some of our fellow Americans who cannot think liberally enough to embrace anything other than a White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant America. Whether Black, Japanese, Middle-Eastern, or Hispanic, racial prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination is sadly alive and well among our more shallow thinking friends and neighbors who would die before admitting this fact.

  5. Low-Inyo April 17, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

    When you look at the barracks they stayed in,it amazes me how some on the right are still trying to say these people and families “chose” to leave their homes,that they weren’t incarcerated,but were there on their own free-will and for their own safety…and could leave if they wanted to leave….not true….no different than being in prison for these Japanese families.

    • Trouble April 17, 2016 at 8:12 pm #

      Lower, President Roosevelt signed the order for incarceration for all people of Japanese ancestry in 1942. He was a Democrat.

      • Charles O. Jones April 18, 2016 at 9:49 am #

        True. And some learn from our past mistakes. Others are hell-bent on repeating them.

      • sugarmagnolia April 18, 2016 at 10:29 am #

        Trouble…your comment is completely off topic from Low’s comment. He’s talking about the view point currently held by some people today……not how something like this happened in 1942.

        BTW, we’re obviously still easily swayed into doing things against our morals, just look at our actions after 9/11. We attacked a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, while protecting (and still protecting) the country that may have participated and that most of the perpetrators came from…..and we passed the Patriot Act. I’m sure Bush/Cheney are still laughing at how easy it was to convince americans and congress to throw away our American rights and values.

        • Trouble April 18, 2016 at 8:44 pm #

          Sugar, I disagree, but i see your point. All I really stated was a fact. Besides, I really get tired of hearing about all this far left and far right junk going around. Both our parties have some serious issues.


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