2011 January 30

First Annual Fred Korematsu Day

 

Fred Korematsu Day is celebrated to commemorate Korematsu, who was evacuated and interned during World War II along with about 120,000 other Japanese-Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor. President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the evacuation of people from the West Coast on February 19, 1942 (but his executive order did not mention Japanese-American by name and said nothing about detention). Korematsu appealed to the Supreme Court, but in one of the most shameful decisions in the history of the Court, it upheld the constitutionality of the government’s program (see Korematsu v. United States, December 18, 1944).

Fred Korematsu Day was established by the state of California in September 2010. The Korematsu Institute (see below) was also established in Fred Korematu’s memory. In 1998 President Bill Clinton awarded Fred Korematsu the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Learn more: http://korematsuinstitute.org/fredkorematsuday/about-fred-korematsu-day/

Read: Peter Irons, Justice at War: The Story of the Japanese-American Internment Cases (1983)

Read a first-hand account of the evacuation and internment: Jeanne Wakatsuki Huston and James D. Houston, Farewell to Manzanar (2002)

Watch an interview with Jeanne Wakatsuki Huston: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDDFw5TGkJo

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