Dr. Johanna Miller Lewis, associate dean of graduate studies and professor of history, has received a $25,000 grant from the Darragh Foundation for the conservation and stabilization of the War Relocation Center cemetery in the Delta town of Rohwer, Ark.
Last year, under the supervision of Lewis, UALR graduate student Tamisha Cheatham secured a $250,000 grant from the National Park Service to help restore the internment camp cemetery in southeastern Arkansas.
The cemetery at Rohwer is one of only three Japanese-American internment camp cemeteries in existence. The funding will be used to stabilize and restore the cemetery’s historic structures including monuments, headstones, and flower holders.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, thousands of Japanese-Americans were housed in internment camps in the United States. The camps in Rohwer and Jerome, Ark. housed 16,000.
The federal government feared the U.S. could be vulnerable to an invasion by the Japanese empire through the American west coast where 89 percent of Japanese-Americans lived at the time. The Rohwer Internment Camp was in operation from Sept. 1942 to Nov. 1945.