Excerpt from Cultural Landscape Report: Manzanar National Historic Site On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, leading to the relocation and internment of Japanese Americans. To carry out the order, the United States Government established 10 War Relocation Centers in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Colorado. Manzanar was the first center to open as the Owens Valley Reception Center. It held a total of Japanese American citizens and Japanese immigrants during World War II.
On March 5, 1942, approximately one week after the Manzanar site was chosen, the us. Corps of Engineer's office in Los Angeles solicited bids for the construction of barracks, utilities, and other camp infrastructure. The first truckloads of lumber arrived on March 14. In the following days, workers began clearing the land and constructing the buildings. By April, buildings were being raised at the rate of two an hour and board feet of lumber were being used every 10 minutes. Construction continued at this pace over several months.
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