World War II Japanese American Internment Museum

Location: McGeehee, Arkansas

Webpage: Museum

General Description: “War hysteria, racial prejudice, and failure of political leadership led to the forced removal of 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. One third of those removed were foreign-born Issei. Many Issei were more than 50 years old and prohibited from becoming American citizens. The remaining two-thirds were American born citizens–Nisei. Most Nisei were under 21 years old. These Americans left their entire lives behind, including possessions, homes, businesses, and communities and were imprisoned in 10 relocation camps across the United States, including Rohwer and Jerome (south of Rohwer) in Desha County, Arkansas.”  The town of McGeehee lies between the two relocation camps at Rohwer and Jerome and became the site for the small museum in the old train station to remember the lives and experiences of the Japanese-Americans interred there.

Impressions:

1) The museum is located in half of the old train station in town and although very small, houses some very impressive exhibits about life in the internment camps.  They also have an excellent video about the camps.