ChicoER: Community Celebrating Fred Korematsu

Chico Peace and Justice Center is hosting a celebration in honor of civil rights activist Fred Korematsu, 6:30-9 p.m. Monday.

Korematsu was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for refusing to be incarcerated in internment camps during World War II.

After Korematsu was arrested and convicted of defying a government order, he appealed his case to the Supreme Court, which ruled against him in the ’40s. It declared that incarceration was justified because of military necessity, which was later disproved when key government intelligence documents hidden from the Supreme Court were discovered, showing that Japanese Americans committed no acts of treason to justify mass incarceration. Korematsu’s 40-year-old case was then re-opened, and his conviction was overturned in the early ’80s.

In 2010, California passed the Fred Korematsu Day bill, making Jan. 30 the first day in the U.S. named after an Asian American.