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School of Public Service co-hosts the Minidoka Civil Liberties Symposium

Gina Persichini
Children held at Minidoka during World War II.

The Minidoka National Historic site will mark its 20th anniversary as a unit of the National Park Service on Sunday, Jan. 17 with the Minidoka Civil Liberties Symposium, a series of virtual programs.

Program hosts include Friends of Minidoka, Minidoka Pilgrimage Planning Committee, and the Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages with support from Boise State School of Public Service, ACLU Idaho, the Community Library (Ketchum), and Boise City Department of Arts and History.

The Minidoka War Relocation Center near Jerome, Idaho operated from 1942 to 1945, one of 10 camps where Japanese Americans, both citizens and resident “aliens,” were held during World War II. Minidoka housed 9,397 Japanese Americans, predominantly from Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. Read more in the latest Blue Review.

Three programs will take place on Sunday, Jan. 17:

  • Minidoka Survivors Panel (11 a.m. MST): Panelists, held as children at the camp, will share their families’ experiences at Minidoka. Link to watch: Facebook event:
  • Origin Story of the Minidoka National Historic Site (1 p.m. MST): A discussion about how the Minidoka War Relocation Center was established as a park unit and how it became Minidoka National Historic Site. Learn about the site’s early days with Neil King (first superintendent of Minidoka), Dan Sakura (Clinton administration staff), Emily Momohara (co-founder of Friends of Minidoka), Anna Tamura (National Park Service planner), and Hanako Wakatsuki (chief of interpretation at Minidoka); moderated by Wade Vagias (superintendent of Minidoka). Link to watch: Facebook event:
  • Origin Story of the Minidoka Pilgrimage (3 p.m. MST): Panelists will discuss the beginning and evolution of the annual Minidoka Pilgrimage with Minidoka Pilgrimage Planning Committee members. Link to watch: Facebook event:

Minidoka National Historic Site is located at 1428 Hunt Rd. in Jerome, Idaho. Minidoka National Historic Site’s visitor center is closed for the winter season and will reopen in the spring. When the site is open, visitors can walk a 1.6-mile trail and around historical buildings including barracks and the mess hall. Outdoor exhibits provide information about life at Minidoka and the history America’s relocation camps. For more information call (208) 825-4169 visit:, or explore the Minidoka National Historic Site Facebook page.