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August 13, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Park City Museum will host a Zoom lecture given by Rick Okabe called Topaz Internment Camp on Thursday, August 13th from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make a reservation.
During World War II, over 11,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were taken from their homes in the San Francisco Bay area and were put in a prison camp called Topaz for 3-1/2 years. Located in central Utah, the camp consisted of 408 wood and tar paper barracks and was surrounded by a barbed wire fence with guard towers manned by armed sentries. The government insisted that this mass incarceration was required in order to maintain national security during a time of war. However, no internee was ever convicted or even charged with any act of espionage or sabotage. Their only crime was they happened to look like the enemy.
Rick Okabe is a Board member of the Topaz Museum which opened in Delta, Utah in 2017. Although he was not interned, he supports the mission of the Topaz Museum to preserve the camp site and tell the story of the Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated there.
The lecture is in correlation with Park City Museum’s new traveling exhibit called Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II. This is a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian which examines the complicated history and impact of Executive Order 9066 that led to the incarceration of 75,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry and 45,000 Japanese nationals following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Young and old lived crowded together in hastily built camps, endured poor living conditions, and were under the constant watch of military guards for two and a half years. Meanwhile, brave Japanese American men risked their lives fighting for the United States. Some 40 years later, members of the Japanese American community led the nation to confront the wrong it had done—and urged Congress to make it right. The exhibit will be on display at Park City Museum from July through October 4th.
Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II was developed by the National Museum of American History and adapted for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The national tour received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, the Terasaki Family Foundation, and C. L. Ehn & Ginger Lew.
Questions? Please contact Diane Knispel at the Park City Museum at email@example.com.