1942 May 16

Gordon Hirabayashi Tells FBI He Won’t Register for Evacuation


Gordon Hirabayashi initiated a Supreme Court test of the Japanese-American evacuation and internment program by refusing to obey a curfew on Japanese-Americans. His refusal led to Hirabayashi v. United States, decided on June 21, 1943, the first important Japanese-American internment case to reach the Court, and in which the Court upheld the constitutionality of the curfew that Hirabayashi had violated.

The evacuation of the Japanese-Americans had been authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Executive Order 9066 (February 19, 1942). The president’s order, however, did not mention Japanese-Americans by name, nor did it specify what would happen to people after they were evacuated.

The evacuation and internment of the Japanese-Americans during the war is widely regarded as the greatest single civil liberties tragedy in American history.

Read Gordon Hirabayashi’s Statement: https://afsc.org/sites/afsc.civicactions.net/files/documents/1942%20Hirabayashi%20Statement%20against%20Inernment%20-%20May.pdf

Watch a tribute to Gordon Hirabayashi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HLsXt0_4rs

Read: Greg Robinson, By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans (2001)

Learn more about Gordon Hirabayashi: http://encyclopedia.densho.org/Gordon_Hirabayashi/

Visit the Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Site near Tucson, AZ: http://gingerpost.com/?p=1876

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