WASHINGTON – National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced 20 grants totaling more than $2.8 million to help preserve and interpret the World War II confinement sites of Japanese Americans. More than 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were American citizens, were imprisoned by the U.S. government following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
“As stewards of our nation’s history, the National Park Service recognizes the importance of preserving these confinement sites,” Jarvis said. “They are poignant reminders – today and for future generations – that we must be always vigilant in upholding civil liberties for all. These grants help us share valuable lessons on the fragility of our constitutional rights and ensure the experiences of those who were incarcerated are not forgotten.”
The grants will be used for projects that include a traveling exhibition to tell the lesser known story of the former Tuna Canyon Detention Station in California; the immediate stabilization of a root cellar that incarcerees used to store fruit and vegetables that they raised at Heart Mountain, Wyoming; and the creation of an online archive that will include more than 1,300 digitally scanned documents and photographs related to the former Rohwer incarceration site in Arkansas.
The grant amounts range from $16,000 awarded to the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, Inc., to research and document a 70-year-old mural that was painted by an internee at the Seagoville Internment Camp (INS Detention Station) in Dallas County, Texas, to $400,000 for New York’s public media station WNET to create “Prisoner in My Homeland,” a series of free online educational video games to engage middle school-age students with the history of Japanese American incarceration during World War II.
The Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, now in its seventh year, will support projects in eight states and the District of Columbia. The grants announced today total $2,845,000 and bring the program’s total awards to more than $18 million since Congress established the grant program in 2006. A total of $38 million in grant funds was authorized for the life of the program.
Grants from the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program can go to the 10 War Relocation Authority centers established in 1942 or to more than 40 other confinement sites. The goal of the program is to teach present and future generations about the injustice of the World War II confinement history and inspire a commitment to equal justice under the law. Successful proposals are chosen through a competitive process that requires applicants to match the grant award with $1 in non-federal funds or “in-kind” contributions for every $2 they receive in federal money.
A list of the winning projects follows. For more details about these projects, visit: http://www.nps.gov/JACS.
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