8 Asians

Utah Honors Topaz Internee, Fred Korematsu

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I first learned more and blogged about Japanese American internment camp detainee and civil rights icon Fred Korematsu when the State of California first had declared that January 30th would be known as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution. Well now, the state of Utah (where Koremtsu was detained at the Topaz internment camp in central Utah) will recognize this January 30th as as Fred Korematsu Day:

Fred_Korematsu“Utah Gov. Gary Herbert will sign a proclamation designating this Jan. 30 as Fred Korematsu Day on Friday at 1:15 p.m. The ceremony will be held in the State Capitol’s Gold Room, which is on the second floor near the governor’s office. Korematsu would have been 94 on Jan. 30; he died eight years ago this spring. … Korematsu was arrested for resisting the military order in spring 1942. A welder born in Oakland [California], he was just 23 when he was convicted and sent to the Tanforan assembly center in California and then on to Topaz in the desert northwest of Delta. … He lived in Topaz from late September 1942 until Feb. 4, 1944, but apparently had a temporary permit to work in Salt Lake City and moved there for several months after leaving the camp. … The California Assembly in 2010 voted to celebrate Fred Korematsu Day every Jan. 30. Hawaii and Utah are celebrating the day this year as a one-time event.”

As noted in my previous blog post, in 1983 Korematsu’s conviction was reversed and his victory help lead the way for the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, through which each survivor of the camps received $20,000 from the government as part of the U.S. government’s official apology for an injustice done upon its own citizens.
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