Statement of Significance (as of designation - February 17, 2006):
Tule Lake was the largest and longest-lived of the ten camps built by the civilian War Relocation Authority (WRA) to house Japanese Americans relocated from the west coast of the United States under the terms of Executive Order 9066. In 1943, Tule Lake was converted to a maximum security segregation center for evacuees from all the relocation centers whom the WRA had identified as "disloyal." Consequently, it had the most guard towers, the largest number of military police, eight tanks, and its own jail and stockade. In spite of the high security, the center continued to be plagued by conflict; in November 1943, Tule Lake was taken over by the army and continued under martial law until January 1944. Protests from the Japanese government and from the California Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union eventually led to the release of all prisoners held in the stockade.