Manzanar National Historic Site Wins Prestigious Award For Barracks Exhibit

The following is a press release from the Organization of American Historians.

BLOOMINGTON, IN — During its annual meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) presented the 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 youth 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 2015–16 President, Jon Butler, and 2016-17 President, Nancy F. Cott.

For more information, visit or call (812) 855.7311.

About The Organization Of American Historians

Founded in 1907, the Organization of American Historians is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to American history scholarship. With more than 7,500 members from the United States 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</em> 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.


LEAD PHOTO: Manzanar NHS Rangers Patricia Biggs (left) and Rose Masters (right), shown here with former National Park Service Director Robert Stanton. National Park Service Photo

Creative Commons License The Manzanar Committee’s Official web site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. You may copy, distribute and/or transmit any story or audio content published on this site under the terms of this license, but only if proper attribution is indicated. The full name of the author and a link back to the original article on this site are required. Photographs, graphic images, and other content not specified are subject to additional restrictions. Additional information is available at: Manzanar Committee Official web site – Licensing and Copyright Information.

Manzanar Committee Comment Policies

Please post your comment on this story below

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: