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2017: A Year of Events Related to the 75th Anniversary of the Signing of EO9066

2017 calendar iconOn 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.

JACL Livingston-Merced will host Day of Remembrance Banquet on February 18, 2017

Merced Assembly Center Memorial. Photo by Kirsten Leong.On Saturday, February 18, 2017 the Livingston-Merced Chapter of the JACL will host the annual Day of Remembrance banquet at the Merced County Fairgrounds in California. Keynote speaker will be David “Mas” Masumoto, a third generation peach and grape farmer of Del Rey in Fresno County. Internees at Amache came primarily from the Merced and Santa Anita Assembly Centers. For more information, visit Merced County’s events page.

History Colorado will host Day of Remembrance Event on February 19, 2017

2017 Day of Remembrance posterOn Sunday, February 19, 2017 the Mile High Chapter of the JACL will host the annual Day of Remembrance event, commemorating the signimg of EO 9066. The program will feature key speakers and presentations explaining the significance and impact of the event. Lane Hirabayashi, UCLA Professor Emeritus and author of Japanese American Resettlement through the Lens will lead the discussion, along with Adele Arakawa, KUSA-TV news anchor. The event will be held at the History Colorado Center in Denver, CO, from 1-4 PM. For more information, visit History Colorado’s webpage or view the poster on the Mile High JACL events page.

Film about Amache survivor screening in Denver, CO on March 1, 2017

Seed Film image. Photo courtesy On March 1, 2017, the Japanese American Association of Colorado and the City of Denver invite friends and members to a private screening of the documentary film “Seed: The Life of the Rice King and his Kin”. The film follows the history of an Amache internee, Keisaburo Koda, who founded Koda Farms–California’s oldest family-owned and operated rice farm and mill. Admission is free. Please rsvp to or 303-433-1638 (RSVP not required to attend but will help with planning). The film will be shown at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Doors open at 6:30, the film runs from 7:00-8:30 pm. For more details, see the event flyer. For background on the film, visit


DU’s Archaeology Field School Honored by Society for Historical Archaeology

Dr. Bonnie Clark receives award for promoting diversity in Historical Archaeology. Photo by Carrie Schrader. 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

Cover image for Amache Recollections video. 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

Open House participants help to clean artifacts. Photo courtesy Kirsten Leong. 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 was a great success!

Miss Marion Konishi, who made the commencement speech at the Granada Relocation Center High School. Photographer: McClelland, Joe Amache, CO. 07/14/1943. Source: War Relocation Authority Photographs of Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement, WRA no. B-657, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. The Annual Amache Pilgrimage always takes place on the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend. 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, Marion Konishi Takehara, former Amache internee and valedictorian of Amache High School Class of 1943 attended and read her commencement speech. The pilgrimage was featured on local news in Colorado Springs and Denver.


Smithsonian National Youth Summit on Japanese American Incarceration Now Available

DC Youth Summit on Japanese American Incarceration During WWII 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, 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

Minidoka Ghost Stories Cover Photo. Photo courtesy Minidoka Ghost Stories. 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

Museum exhibit on Amache available to travel!

Teapot lid fragment at Amache. Photo courtesy DU Amache Project.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.

High Plains Public Radio Continues to feature Amache

Carlene Tanigoshi Tinker, former internee, volunteers with Denver University's Archaeology Field School. Photo courtesy Kirsten Leong. In July, 2014, High Plains Public Radio began a series featuring Amache, including background on the site and interviews with former internees and Denver University Archaeology Field School participants. A June 15, 2015 article links to an overview of historic preservation activities.

Bricks, Bricks, and more Bricks!

Volunteers laying bricks. Photo courtesy Amache Preservation Society. On Saturday, June 6, 2015, 26 volunteers helped Amache Preservation Society lay bricks for the floor of a barrack that will be reconstructed to give visitors a sense of what it was like to live at Amache. The project was sponsored by Colorado Preservation, Inc. and the construction was monitored by Wattle & Daub Co. They laid 4,500 bricks in one day! Read the full article for more details.

Amache Survivor Publishes Memoir, “Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp”

Lily Havey, a long time resident of Salt Lake City, shown outside a reconstructed barrack at Topaz, UT, July 2015. Photo courtesy Lily Havey. Amache survivor Lily Yuriko Havey was 10 when she and her family were evacuated to Amache. Her book reveals memories of that time in paintings evocative of that traumatic experience. Lily has had book signings at the Japanese American National Museum and at the April 2015 Amache Reunion in Las Vegas. She says the next stage in her family’s story may be making a film of her mother’s life. Read more about the author and her book in the High Country News, Havey’s website, and facebook page.

Past Events

April 23, 2016 was Amache Digitization Day in Sebastopol, CA

Amache Digitization Project flyer People with Amache related items such as photos, diaries, drawings, handmade jewelry or furniture, yearbooks, or items created by the silk screen shop were invited to bring them to the Amache Digitization Day at the Enmanji Buddhist Temple in Sebastopol, CA, where they were digitally preserved so they can be shared for generations to come. Participants took home their objects and the digital copies. An exhibit will be created at the Sonoma State Library Art Gallery in the fall, highlighting the beauty, creativity, and resilience that burgeoned out of a harsh, unforgiving landscape and unjust situation. See flyer for details.

History Colorado hosted Day of Remembrance February 21, 2016

2016 Day of Remembrance poster On Sunday, February 21, the Mile High Chapter of the JACL hosted the annual Day of Remembrance event, commemorating February 19, 1942, the day that President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. The event was held at the History Colorado Center in Denver, CO, with the theme “Building Bridges of Inclusivity,” focusing on the history of racism against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and similarities with racism currently faced by the Muslim American community. It concluded with a panel discussion with members of the Japanese American, Muslim American, and Sikh American communities and open house. For more information, visit History Colorado’s webpage or view the poster.

Heart Mountain hosted All Camps Celebration August 21-22, 2015

Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Heart Mountain, Wyoming. Looking west on F street, main thoroughfare of this relocation center, with its namesake Heart Mountain looming in the background. By Parker, Tom, Photographer (NARA record: 4682167) (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

This year, Heart Mountain’s annual Pilgrimage in Cody, WY featured an All Camps Celebration, and invited former incarcerees and families from all Japanese-American confinement sites to join in fellowship, commemoration, healing and celebration. For more information, visit the Heart Mountain Pilgrimage page.


Denver University Museum Hosted Exhibit on Amache through September 18, 2015

Teapot lid fragment at Amache. Photo courtesy DU Amache Project.

A student and community curated exhibit, Connecting the Pieces: Dialogues on the Amache Archaeology Collection was on display at Denver University’s Museum of Anthropology. Connecting the Pieces featured objects from the DU Amache Research Project that help tell the story of Japanese American internment during World War II.