World War II
Things to See & Do in California
Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
Port Chicago Naval Magazine was dedicated as a National Memorial to honor the courage and commitment of the Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, Merchant Mariners, and working civilians killed and injured in the largest homeland disaster during World War II. On July 17, 1944, 320 men, over 200 of which were African-Americans, were instantly killed when a loaded munition ship blew up during loading operations. The Memorial recognizes the critical role they and the survivors of the explosion played in winning the war in the Pacific. Port Chicago National Memorial was dedicated in 1994 by the survivors of that tragic event and their families, Naval personnel, and National Park Service. The explosion and its aftermath was a catalyst, one of many, that helped persuade the U.S. Navy and the military establishment to begin the long journey on the road to racial justice and equality following WWII. The Memorial is located 45 minutes outside of San Francisco.
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park
The World War II Home Front is a significant chapter in America’s history. Fully engaged in winning World War II, American women, minorities, and men worked toward a common goal in a manner that has been unequaled since. Women affectionately known as "Rosies" helped change industry and had sweeping and lasting impacts. Richmond, California played a significant and nationally recognized part in the World War II Home Front. The four Richmond shipyards, with their combined 27 shipways, produced 747 ships, more than any other shipyard complex in the country. Richmond was home to 56 different war industries, more than any other city of its size in the United States. The city grew nearly overnight from 24,000 people to 100,000 people, overwhelming the available housing stock, roads, schools, businesses and community services. The Rosie the Riveter Memorial is located in Marina Bay Park in Richmond.
Manzanar National Historic Site
Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps at which Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were interned during World War II. Located at the foot of the imposing Sierra Nevada in eastern California's Owens Valley, Manzanar has been identified as the best preserved of these camps. Manzanar is located 9 miles north of Lone Pine and 6 miles south of Independence, California.
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