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Tuna Canyon Traveling Exhibit Extended Two Weeks

Visitors view the Tuna Canyon Detention Station exhibit on opening day.

Due to popular demand, the Tuna Canyon Detention Station traveling exhibit, “Only the Oaks Remain,” has been extended two weeks until Sunday, Aug. 20, at the Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Ave. (at Valmont Street) in Tujunga.

Regular museum hours: Sunday and Tuesday from 1 to 4 p.m. Extended hours for this exhibit: Thursday, Aug. 10 and 17, from 6 to 8 p.m.

“Only the Oaks Remain” commemorates the history of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tuna Canyon Detention Station in Tujunga, located at the present-day site of the Verdugo Hills Golf Course.

During the decade before World War II, the U.S. government compiled lists of people they saw as potential risks to national security. When the war began, Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526, and 2527 authorized the FBI and other agencies to arrest such individuals, mostly Japanese, German, and Italian immigrant community and business leaders. The government also imprisoned Japanese and others forcibly removed from Latin America. The Tuna Canyon Detention Station was one of many confinement sites that held these individuals.

Speakers at the opening ceremony were (from left) Lloyd Hitt and Nancy Oda of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition, Vickere Murphy from State Sen. Anthony Portantino’s office, docent Regina Clark, and Herrold Eggers, president of the Little Landers Historical Society.

The exhibition features many items that serve to illuminate a largely untold story that goes beyond the more widely known story of the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans. A highlight is an Honor Wall that bears the names of more than 2,000 incarcerees.

The exhibit is organized by the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition, a nonprofit group dedicated to raising public awareness about the history of the site. The coalition, whose members include descendants of detainees, is working to develop a permanent Tuna Canyon Detention Station Memorial, which will include a plaque and educational posts installed along a walking path lined with mature oak trees, to further educate future generations.

While nothing of the camp remains, there is a grove of oak trees on the site that dates back to that era.

San Fernando Taiko performs at the opening ceremony on July 9.

This project was funded, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program; and sponsored by the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center.

Admission if free; suggested donation is $3 per person.

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