Minidoka National Historic Site is one of six units within the National Park Service which commemorates the violation of civil rights against Japanese Americans during World War II.
Following Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, fear and war hysteria escalated decades of anti-Japanese prejudice in the western United States. In February 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the U.S. Army to remove all persons of Japanese ancestry from their West Coast homes to some of the most desolate places in the country. Including children born during the war, a total of 120,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned, without due process, on the basis of race. Two-thirds of them were U.S.-born citizens.
Minidoka National Historic Site preserves the former Minidoka War Relocation Center and educates visitors about the 13,000 Japanese Americans who were held there from 1942 to 1945. Despite the hardships of the Idaho desert, they salvaged their lives as best they could by forming schools, community organizations, and small businesses. Visitors are invited to walk the 1.6 mile trail and see the historic structures that remain. Twenty-seven outdoor exhibit panels provide insight into camp life and the site’s connection to Homesteaders in the Magic Valley.