2017: A Year of Events Related to the 75th Anniversary of the Signing of EO9066
On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, enabling the wartime incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry in 10 “internment camps” across the country. For the 75th Anniversary, the Japanese-American community is hosting events throughout the year and across the nation related to the WWII Japanese American incarceration experience. Use the google calendar or visit the #NeverAgain facebook page to find an event near you.
Annual Amache Pilgimage will be held on May 19, 2018
The Amache Pilgrimage is held each year on the Saturday before Memorial Day Weekend, which will be May 19 in 2018. It is a day to remember those of Japanese descent who spent more than three years imprisoned on the plains of southern Colorado during World War II. This year also marks the 25th Anniversary of the Amache Preservation Society. For those with their own transportation, there will be a catered dinner/discussion on Saturday night (nominal fee) starting at 5:00 p.m. at the Amache Resource Center near the Amache Museum in the town of Granada. For information, see the Pilgrimage page and flyer. For those driving, note there will be a parade along Route 50 from Lamar to Granada. Directions for an alternate route are posted on the Pilgrimage page.
Denver University’s Archaeology Field School will be held June 12-July 12, 2018
DU’s Amache Project will offer its biennial Field School from June 12-July 12. The field school is a four-credit undergraduate level course for students interested in archaeology, museum studies, or history. High school interns and volunteers with family ties to the site are also welcome. A community open house will be held on Friday, July 6, 2018. For details, visit the project website, or the Amache Historical Society II Fall 2017 Newsletter.
Smithsonian Institution is Collecting Stories of Incarceration
Do you have a keepsake that reflects your family’s experience with the Japanese American Incarceration? The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is partnering with American Public Media Reports to launch a new podcast series “Order 9066.” To learn more and contribute your stories, visit APM’s submission page.
Sonoma State University Hosts Special Collections for Amache
Sonoma State University’s Camp Amache Digital Collection features photographs of daily life at the Amache Relocation Center in Colorado, home to over 7,000 interned Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War II, many of them from the North Bay. Sonoma State University Professor Emeritus Robert Fuchigami was an internee in the Amache Relocation Center and wrote the descriptions for each of the 171 items in the Collection, which began as a grant-funded project and part of the University Library’s North Bay Ethnic Archive. The collection can be accessed online.
DU’s Archaeology Field School Honored by Society for Historical Archaeology
The DU Archaeology Field School was recognized for promoting diversity in the discipline at the Society for Historical Archaeology conference in January, 2017. The field school is typically offered every two years (in even years) and is a four-credit undergraduate level course for students interested in archaeology, museum studies, or history. High school internship and volunteer opportunities are available for those with family ties to the site. A Community Open House for those with personal or family connections to Amache and a Public Open House open to everyone are held each season. Congratulations, Dr. Bonnie Clark!
First Five National Japanese American Memorial Foundation Student Videos Released
The National Japanese American Memorial Foundation‘s Digital Storytelling Project trained high school students in video production to tell stories of the 10 internment camp sites. The first five videos are now available on the NJAMF website. Amache’s digital story was produced by Halle Sousa, who participated in DU’s 2016 Archaeology Field School. Check out Halle’s video.
Denver University’s 2016 Archaeology Field School featured on Denver’s 9News
Denver University’s Amache Project offered its biennial Field School in historical archaeology and museum studies from June 9-July 15. The field school is a four-credit undergraduate level course for students interested in archaeology, museum studies, or history. High school interns and volunteer with family ties to the site also participated. Open Houses were held on July 8 and 9, and the project was featured on Denver’s 9News. For more information and to read the field school summary, visit the project website.
40th Anniversary Pilgrimage featured 1943 Valedictorian’s Commencement Address
Marion Konishi Takehara, former Amache internee and valedictorian of Amache High School Class of 1943 attended theAmache Pilgrimage on May 21, 2016, and read her commencement speech to a standing ovation. She asked then, “What does America mean to you?” And answered in 2016 what she answered in 1943 behind Amache’s barbed wire, “I would answer without any hesitation and with all sincerity, America means freedom, equality, security and justice…Do my classmates believe this? Yes, with all our heards, because in that faith, in that hope, is my future, our future, and the world’s future.” The pilgrimage and Konishi’s speech were featured on local news in Colorado Springs and Denver. It was the first time she had returned to Amache since she left 70 years earlier.
Smithsonian National Youth Summit on Japanese American Incarceration Now Available
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the Japanese American National Museum held a National Youth Summit on Japanese American incarceration in World War II on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 from 1–2 PM EDT. The recording of the full webcast is now available on the Smithsonian’s website.
Oral History Project Seeks Ghost Stories from Internment Camps
The Minidoka Ghost Stories project is seeking stories of ghosts, hauntings, and the strange from the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and is an opportunity to hear and to share a unique aspect of the internment experience. These stories not only provide an alternative inroad to Japanese American history, but also, in the analysis of their telling, provide insights into our culture, our values, and our legacy. Though Minidoka is specified in the project’s title, they are interested in hearing stories associated with ANY of the camps. To learn more about the project or to contribute, visit the project’s facebook page or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Museum exhibit on Amache available to travel!
A student and community curated exhibit, Connecting the Pieces: Dialogues on the Amache Archaeology Collection is now available to travel. Connecting the Pieces features objects from the DU Amache Research Project that help tell the story of Japanese American internment during World War II. Interested in bringing the dialogue to your local museum, library, or community center? Download the flier or contact Anne Amati for more information.