Maryland is the latest state to consider commemorating Fred Korematsu Day.
In March 2016, the Maryland Senate held a committee hearing on SB353, the bill to permanently establish January 30th as
Fred Korematsu Day.
Since 2010, a growing of number of states have recognized Jan. 30 as Fred Korematsu Day. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has also urged the President and Congress to establish Fred Korematsu Day as a national holiday. Six states – California, Hawai’i, Utah, Illinois, Georgia, Virginia – have recognized Korematsu Day by statute, legislative resolution, or proclamation by the governor. Two other states – Michigan and Pennsylvania – have legislatures that have or are considering legislative recognitions.
Updated as of Feb. 25, 2015.
NATIONAL – In progress
Martin R. Castro, Chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, announced in 2014 that the Commission urged the President and Congress to create national holidays honoring Cesar Chavez and Fred Korematsu. The Commission also requested that the President issue an Executive Order declaring those two days national holidays in recognition of both men’s contribution to upholding civil rights and liberties for all citizens in our country.
CALIFORNIA – Established by statute
California’s Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution is the first day in U.S. history named after an Asian American. It is celebrated every January 30th on Mr. Korematsu’s birthday. The Fred Korematsu Day bill, AB 1775, was signed into law by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on September 23, 2010. Fred Korematsu Day is a day of special significance, when schools across the state are encouraged to remember the life of Fred Korematsu and recognize the importance of preserving civil liberties. For more about the history of California’s Fred Korematsu Day bill, click here.
VIRGINIA – Recognized by Legislative Measure
Virginia State Delegate Mark Keam introduced a resolution to recognize Jan. 30 as Fred Korematsu Day in Virginia. The Virginia State Legislature adopted the resolution in late February 2015. For more information, click here.
HAWAI’I – Recognized by Governor’s Proclamation
Hawaii’s Fred Korematsu Day is recognized via a proclamation by the governor. A proclamation designating January 30, 2013, as Fred Korematsu Day in Hawai’i was signed by Governor Neil Abercrombie on May 6, 2012, and encourages the people of the Aloha State to recognize Fred Korematsu for his contributions to the nation’s civil rights movement. For more about the history of Hawaii’s Fred Korematsu Day proclamation, click here.
UTAH – Recognized by Governor’s Proclamation
Utah’s Fred Korematsu Day is recognized via proclamation by the governor. Governor Gary Herbert signed such a proclamation on January 18, 2013. For more about the history of Utah’s Fred Korematsu Day proclamation, click here.
ILLINOIS – Recognized by Governor’s Proclamation
Gov. Pat Quinn in 2014 issued a proclamation recognizing Jan. 30 as Fred Korematsu Day. For more information about the Illinois proclamation, click here.
GEORGIA – Recognized by Legislative Resolution
State Rep. Byung J. “BJay” Pak introduced HR 1151 declaring January 30, 2014, as Georgia’s inaugural Fred Korematsu Day. The resolution was adopted by the state House. For more information on Georgia’s commemoration of Fred Korematsu Day, click here.
MICHIGAN (in progress)
Gov. Rick Snyder in 2014 issued a Certificate of Recognition honoring Fred Korematsu. The certificate was presented at an event organized by the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission. For more information, click here (external site). State Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood introduced a bill to declare each January 30 as “Fred Korematsu Day” in Michigan. The bill was referred to committee.
PENNSYLVANIA (in progress)
Pennsylvania State Representative Mark Cohen introduced a resolution designating January 30 as “Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties” in Pennsylvania. The resolution was referred to committee.
The Korematsu Institute is working with community leaders in additional states around the country in order to spread awareness about Fred Korematsu Day and the Institute’s free Korematsu Institute Teaching Kits. To get involved in Fred Korematsu Day efforts in your state, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW YORK CITY
New York City celebrated its inaugural Fred T. Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution on Tuesday, January 30. On December 19, 2017, the New York City Council unanimously passed Resolution 0792, establishing January 30 as a permanent annual observance.