The Federal government, state governments, and local governments all sponsor designation and commemorative programs.
Designation programs, such as the National Historic Landmarks Program, are intended to encourage preservation of historic properties. While the guidelines of different designation programs vary, designated sites must possess historic integrity. In other words, these should be places that are relatively unchanged since the period when the historic event associated with this site occurred. Designation, which often provides an historic site with protection, helps ensure the preservation of historic places.
Designation programs include city and state landmark programs as well as the National Historic Landmarks Program. City and state register programs and the National Register of Historic Places are also designation programs.
Commemorative programs, such as historic marker programs, are intended to commemorate the site where an historic event occurred. While the guidelines for different commemorative programs vary, most commemorative programs do not require that the site possess historic integrity. Commemoration helps recognize important historic sites, even when no above- or below-ground resources or materials associated with an historic event remain.
For an example of a site which has qualified for a commemoration program, click here.
Heart Mountain Relocation Center, WY:
The Heart Mountain Relocation Center is nationally significant as one of ten relocation centers that incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II, following their forced removal by military authorities. Internees at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center played a notable role in resisting the draft, as a protest against the unfair and unconstitutional confinement of Japanese American citizens. This site embodies the history of resistance by Japanese-American internees and the abrogation of their constitutional rights as U.S. citizens during World War II.