THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice
|For Immediate Release
||February 2, 2000
VICE PRESIDENT GORE PROPOSES $4.8 MILLION
PRESERVE WORLD WAR II-ERA INTERNMENT CAMPS
Also Releases Most Comprehensive Survey Ever of
Japanese-American Internment Facilities
DC -- Vice President Al Gore today announced today that the most comprehensive
report ever on the history and status of World War II internment camps will be
released next week, and proposed $4.8 million for a new initiative to help
preserve several of these sites throughout the West.
Park Service report, which will be available starting February 9th, describes
the history and current condition of relocation centers and other facilities
where approximately 120,000 Japanese-Americans were interned during World War
II. The Administration's FY 2001 budget will seek funding to acquire some of
these historic sites and to construct visitor facilities and
relocation and internment of American citizens during World War II is a vital
chapter in our history," said Vice President Gore. "Today we take an important
step to honor and preserve the experiences of Japanese-Americans who paid a
dear price and persevered during one of our nation's most trying hours."
Service report, entitled "Confinement and Ethnicity: an Overview of World War
II Japanese American Internment Camp Sites," is the most exhaustive survey ever
of the 35 sites associated with the relocation and internment of the
Japanese-Americans during the war. The sites, most in remote areas of the West,
include War Relocation Centers, Citizen Isolation Centers, Assembly Centers,
U.S. Department of Justice Centers and other facilities. Copies of the report
will be available from the National Park Service's Western Archeological and
Conservation Center (WACC) in Tucson, Arizona. To request a copy, contact the
WACC via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or via fax at 520-670-6525, "Attention
FY 2001 funding would be used to construct a new visitor center at the Manzanar
National Historic Site in California; to acquire and protect other former camp
sites; to construct an interpretive exhibit near a former work camp in Arizona;
and to begin a Park Serivce study of "World War II on the Home Front." Details
National Historic Site Visitor Center. In 1992, Congress passed bipartisan
legislation to create the Manzanar National Historic Site, a former internment
camp, as a unit of the National Park System. The Administration's FY 2001
budget will seek $4.2 million to construct a visitor center to house
administrative offices and to provide information on the history of the site.
The proposed funding builds on the work of numerous local and national groups,
including Save America's Treasures, a public-partnership between the White
House Millenium Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation; the
National Park Foundation; The Manzanar Fund; the Manzanar Advisory Commission;
and the Japanese American Citizens League.
Acquisition and Exchanges to Protect Former Sites. The Interior Department's FY
2001 budget also will seek $500,000 through the Land and Water Conservation
Fund to protect former internment sites through purchase or land exchange.
These sites include internment camps in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Arkansas.
Currently, portions of the sites are in private ownership. The Bureau of Land
Management would administer this multi-state program and work in partnership
with local landowners, historic preservation groups and other stakeholders.
Land would be acquired only from willing sellers.
Service Interpretive Exhibit. As part of the multi-agency initiative, the U.S.
Forest Service's FY 2001 budget will seek $112,000 to construct an interpretive
exhibit on the Coronado National Forest in Arizona. The proposed exhibit would
be named after Gordon Hirabayashi, a Japanese-American who was interned at a
nearby work camp.
Service Study of "World War II on the Home Front." The budget also would seek
authorization and funding for the National Park Service to conduct a "Special
Resources Study" of World War II sites in the United States that have historic
significance. The Park Service proposes to study industrial sites, prisoner or
war camps, and internment camp sites at Tule Lake in northern California and
Granada in eastern Colorado. The study would include recommendations about how
best to preserve and manage specific sites, including possible inclusion in the
National Park System.