Manzanar National Historic Site Hosts Record 105,307 Visitors In 2016

The following is a press release from the National Park Service.

INDEPENDENCE, CA — 105,307 people from throughout the United States and around the world visited Manzanar National Historic Site in 2016, topping the previous year’s record of 95,327. From near and far, youth and elders, first-time visitors and Japanese Americans who had been incarcerated, all had a variety of opportunities to connect to the site, its stories, and each other. Manzanar has seen continuing increases in visitation including 9.5 percent in 2016 and 18.6 percent in 2015.

“Our mission at Manzanar is to preserve the site and share its stories,” Superintendent Bernadette Johnson said. “We were honored to host so many visitors in 2016, the Centennial year of the National Park Service. We mark another anniversary in 2017, the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, which led to the World War II incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans.” Johnson continued, “This year also marks the 75th Anniversary of Manzanar War Relocation Center’s opening and the 25th Anniversary of Manzanar National Historic Site’s establishment.”

The Manzanar site continues to evolve. In 2016, the National Park Service (NPS) reconstructed the Block 14 women’s latrine, which will eventually feature exhibits. A new accessible sidewalk links the visitor center, barracks, and latrine. Park staff are also developing an exhibit on education in Manzanar in Barracks 8. Work continues throughout Manzanar to preserve the Japanese gardens, historic orchards, and other site features.

Congress established Manzanar National Historic Site in 1992, the result of decades of efforts by Japanese Americans and others. Since then, the National Park Service has worked with scores of stakeholders to preserve and interpret Manzanar and its stories.

Manzanar is located at 5001 Highway 395, six miles south of Independence, California. For more information, please call (760) 878-2194 extension 3310 or visit our web site at h or Facebook page at

= NPS =

LEAD PHOTO: Manzanar National Historic Site Ranger Mark Hachtmann presents a program on the Block 14 women’s latrine slab, May 2016. Photo: National Park Service.

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One thought on “Manzanar National Historic Site Hosts Record 105,307 Visitors In 2016

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  1. I don’t know how they’re counting, but I’ll but there were more visitors (especially repeat visits from people who didn’t go into the main building). I’ve never gone past (in daylight) without seeing a significant number of vehicles in the lot, and I’ve stopped for just a few minutes whenever I had time.

    The improved facilities attract the eye, and it’s in an area where people on busy US395 figure it’s time for a break from driving. This means that a lot of visitors are stopping from curiosity, rather than on a mission, and THIS means that new people are learning of this atrocity on a “national” scale, rather than only in and around the Nikkei community. To many of us, it’s personal (we know survivors), but to these casual visitors, this may be the first time they’ve actually become fully aware of what was done.

    I see a lot of thoughtful expressions as people get back into their cars.

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