Manzanar National Historic Site invites the public to participate in a weekend of special activities surrounding the Manzanar Committee’s 44th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage. Visitors are invited to experience art, music, dance, talks, and more. All events are free.
On Friday, April 26, the Friends of Eastern California Museum will host a public reception from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Eastern California Museum. Located at 155 Grant St. in Independence, the museum’s exhibits include Shiro and Mary Nomura’s Manzanar collection, a centennial retrospective on the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the Norman Clyde exhibit, and the Anna and O.K. Kelly Gallery of Native American Life. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, the hours of operation for the Manzanar Visitor Center will extended to 5:30 p.m. The center offers extensive exhibits and an award-winning film, as well as special Junior Ranger activities for kids.
Manzanar History Association will host book-signings by Hank Umemoto, author of “Manzanar to Mount Whitney: The Life and Times of a Lost Hiker,” on Saturday and Sunday, as well as the annual Selected Artists from the Henry Fukuhara Annual Alabama Hills and Manzanar Workshop art show and sale, which runs through May 18.
The Manzanar Pilgrimage begins at noon Saturday at the Manzanar Cemetery with the procession of camp banners and a performance by UCLA Kyodo Taiko. This year’s pilgrimage coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act, signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. Speakers include Karen Korematsu, daughter of Fred Korematsu and co-founder of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education.
The Manzanar Committee will honor Warren Furutani with the 2013 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award in recognition of his decades of work spanning from the 1969 Manzanar Pilgrimage to the California State Assembly, where he championed the Nisei Diploma Project as well as California’s annual Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution.
The pilgrimage program concludes with the traditional interfaith service and ondo dancing, after which park rangers will offer walking tours to those wishing to explore Manzanar. More information about the pilgrimage is posted on the Manzanar Committee’s website at http://blog.manzanarcommittee.org.
The Manzanar At Dusk (MAD) program begins at 5 p.m. Saturday at Lone Pine High School, 538 S. Main St. (Hwy. 395) in Lone Pine. The program offers participants opportunities for intergenerational discussions and sharing. The MAD program is co-sponsored by the Nikkei Student Unions of Cal State Long Beach, Cal Poly Pomona, UCLA, and UC San Diego.
Sunday’s events begin at 9:30 a.m., with the dedication of a plaque at the Manzanar Visitor Center honoring the 11 people who served on the Manzanar Advisory Commission. From 1992 to 2002, Congress authorized the commission, composed of “former internees, local residents, tribal representatives, and the public,” to guide Manzanar’s development, management, and interpretation.
At 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Karen Korematsu will present a program entitled “Fred Korematsu: The Man Who Said ‘No’ to the Internment of Japanese Americans” in the visitor center’s west theater.
With the exception of Friday evening’s reception and Saturday evening’s MAD program, all events will take place at Manzanar National Historic Site, 5001 Hwy. 395, six miles south of Independence, nine miles north of Lone Pine, and approximately 230 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The Manzanar Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with extended hours on April 26 and 27. There is no food service at Manzanar. Bring a lunch or snacks, water, and a chair. Wear a hat and comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.