66 years ago, on February 19, 1942, United States Executive Order 9066 was issued during World War II by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, using his authority as Commander-in-Chief to exercise war powers to send people of Japanese ancestry to internment camps. Although the order technically targeted those of “Foreign Enemy Ancestry” — which included Japanese, Italians, and Germans — Japanese Americans were by far the most impacted by EO 9066.
Every year, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program holds an “Annual Day of Remembrance” to mark the anniversary of the event and this year the program presents a staged reading of the critically acclaimed new play, Innocent When You Dream, by Ken Narasaki and directed by Alberto Isaac.
After 66 years, the number of the people who were old enough to remember these events as teenagers or adults are dwindling. I believe it’s important to remember these landmark events in our nation’s history (we must remember the good, the bad, and the ugly). It is vital to keep the memories of this chapter of our history via oral histories, literature and other types of documentation, as well as via the dramatic arts. If you’re in the DC area, try to catch this one-time event. I’ll be there to support… I hope you will be, too.
Innocent When You Dream
A play reading by Ken Narasaki
Saturday, February 23, 2008 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Freer Gallery of Art
12th Street and Independence Avenue, SW
Metro: Smithsonian or L’Enfant Plaza