On January 18, 2013, Utah Governor Gary Herbert proclaimed “Fred Korematsu Day” in Utah for January 30, 2013, which would have been Mr. Korematsu’s 94th birthday. With this proclamation, the beehive state became the third in the country to recognize Fred Korematsu Day, following California’s 2010 passage of a bill establishing a permanent “Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution,” celebrated every January 30, and Hawaii’s May 2012 gubernatorial proclamation recognizing January 30, 2013 as Fred Korematsu Day in Hawaii.
On Saturday, October 22, 2011, Mary Chun, a social studies teacher at Waialua High & Intermediate School, attended a Korematsu teacher’s workshop at Aliiolani Hale, sponsored by the Judiciary History Center, the Hawai’i State Bar Association Civic Education Committee, the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Hawaii Department of Education, Social Studies Program. She was particularly touched and inspired by a presentation given by Karen Korematsu, Fred’s daughter. The Saturday workshop was followed by a second component, also held at Aliiolani Hale. This component featured a video conference, broadcasts to DOE schools throughout the state, in which former acting US Solicitor General Neil Katyal spoke to a a group of students in Hawaii’s Supreme Courtroom about Korematsu v. the United States as well as Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.
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.
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.