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Central Utah Relocation Center (Topaz) Site

  • Also Known As: Topaz War Relocation Center 74001934
  • Also Known As: Topaz42MD1793

  • Address: 10500 West 500 North
  • Travel Genus: Sight
  • Sight Category: Site

The site of the Central Utah Relocation Center (Topaz) is nationally significant as the location of one of the ten relocation camps created for the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, the U.S. military forcibly removed more than 120000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast and detained them in a system of assembly and relocation centers. Carried out in the months following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, these actions reflected wartime hysteria, racist sentiment, and the military's inability to gauge the loyalty of Japanese Americans. Topaz is significant for its association with US military history (World War II on the Home Front), politics and government (the relocation decision), US constitutional law (the protection of civil liberties during wartime), ethnic heritage (Japanese American history), and social history (history of minorities in the US ; history of civil rights). The period of significance, 1942-1946, spans the wartime use of the site. Three factors distinguish Topaz from other relocation centers. First, two internees, Fred C Korematsu and Mitsuye Endo, were involved in landmark court cases that challenged the exclusion and relocation of Japanese Americans on constitutional grounds. Second, Topaz exemplifies the efforts of Japanese Americans and WRA authorities to make the best of a difficult and undesirable situation, resulting in what historian Sandra C Taylor has termed a state of "uneasy coexistence. " Third, Topaz exemplifies Japanese Americans ' cultural response to relocation. Internees engaged in a variety of artistic endeavors in order to pass the time and ameliorate the oppressive conditions. Musicians, writers, landscape architects, and other artists created beauty and found outlets for expression under the most difficult of circumstances, thereby enriching the life of all internees and creating a lasting record of the Japanese-American experience at Topaz. - NRHP



Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
US Army Corps of Engineer Architect
Daly Bros Architect
1942/00/00 US Army, War Relocation Authority United States government agency Internment of Americans with Foreign Enemy Ancestry
1943/00/00 Topaz was filmed, illegally, from 1943 to 1945 at the Topaz War Relocation Center, Utah Topaz (documentary) Internment of Americans with Foreign Enemy Ancestry

Data »

Particulars for Central Utah Relocation Center (Topaz) Site:
attribute Asian
Owner Federal
Criteria Historic Event
Historic Use Internment Camp
Area of Significance Law, Legal System
Area of Significance Military
Historic Use Military facility
Level of Significance National
Area of Significance Politics-government
Owner Private
Sight Category Site
Area of Significance Social History

US National Registry of Historic Places Data »

Accurate at time of registration: 29th March 2007

Registry Name: Central Utah Relocation Center (Topaz) Site
Registry Address: 10500 West 500 North
Registry Number: 07000432
Resource Type: Site
Owner: Private, Federal
Architect: US Army Corps of Engineers; Daly Bros. War Location Authority
Area in Acres: 728
Non-Contributing Buildings: 2
Contributing Sites: 1
Contributing Structures: 1
Non-Contributing Structures: 1
Non-Contributing Objects: 3
Other Certification: Date received-pending nomination, Designated National Landmark
Certification: Listed in the National Register
Nominator Name: National Historic Landmark
Level of Significance: National
Area of Significance: Military, Law, Politics-government, Asian, Social history
Applicable Criteria: Event
Significant Year: 1942, 1945, 1946
Historic Function: Defense
Historic Sub-Function: Military facility
Current Function: Domestic, Recreation and Culture, Vacant, not in use
Current Sub-Function: Monument, Marker Single dwelling

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