A feeling of "peace and serenity" enveloped 6-year-old Kenneth Finkel that day in 1958 as he walked the grounds of the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden with his father, whose thoughts likely were more complicated, he recalls.
Roughly 1,000 people came out to commemorate Hawaii’s first-ever Fred Korematsu Day celebrations!
On February 2, civil rights icon Fred T. Korematsu became the first Asian American featured in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery permanent exhibition, “The Struggle for Justice.” Two 1940s-era original photographs of Korematsu were presented on February 2 at 9:30 a.m. at the Portrait Gallery in a private event featuring speakers including the Honorable Norman Y. Mineta, former US Secretary of Transportation, Congresswoman Judy Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Congressman Mike Honda, Congressman Doris Matsui, Ling Woo Liu, director of the Korematsu Institute, Karen Korematsu, co-founder of the Korematsu Institute and Martin Sullivan, director of the National Portrait Gallery. The photographs are now available for public view.
By Korematsu Institute
The Rafu Shimpo has published an article on the Fred Korematsu Day bill. “It’s not just nostalgia, the issues of Korematsu have current impact on all of us especially after 9/11,” said [Assemblymember] Furutani. “The issues of civil liberties have to stand strong whatever the political wind.” Read the full article here.
Here’s the audio clip and text of Khurshid Khoja’s moving speech on Feb. 21, at the Bay Area Day of Remembrance. Khurshid is an attorney at Reed, Smith LLP, and a board member of the Asian Law Caucus and Asian American Bar Association. Full text posted with permission from the author:
In honor of a man who became a civil rights icon for defying the mass internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, the Asian Law Caucus will officially launch the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education (http://fredkorematsu.org) at the organization’s annual event on Thursday, April 30, in San Francisco.
Sixty-seven years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, allowing the military to circumvent the constitutional safeguards of American citizens in the name of national defense.