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News: PACCD Board Supports the Creation of Fred Korematsu Day

Korematsu

The Pasadena Area Community College District Board of Trustees voted unanimously at its April meeting to approve a resolution in support of the creation of the Fred T. Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution on January 30.

PCC's adoption of this resolution is of great historical significance for the Japanese-American and the Pasadena community, as it recognizes the importance of protecting the civil rights and liberties for all Americans, regardless of ethnicity,” said PACCD Trustee Linda Wah.  “It is also significant as PCC was the college used as a test case to bring a young Japanese-American girl (Esther Nishio) back from the internment camps to California to gauge the acceptance of the return of the Japanese-Americans to the community.  I am so grateful to the college and to my fellow trustees for their support of this resolution.

Korematsu, a Japanese-American citizen living in the west coast during World War II, is best known for refusing to comply with Civilian Exclusion Order 34. Based on the federal Executive Order 9066, the order imposed strict curfew regulations and required 120,000 Japanese Americans to leave their homes to be incarcerated in internment camps. He was arrested and convicted, but fought back because he believed the conviction went against the basic freedoms guaranteed to him by the U.S. Constitution.

Korematsu’s conviction was ultimately overturned in 1984, a decision that influenced the U.S. government’s passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. The Act recognized that a grave injustice was done by forced relocation and incarceration of civilian Americans because of wartime prejudice.

Current California law designates a number of days as having special significance, and public schools are encouraged to observe and conduct suitable commemorative exercises as specified. The History-Social Science Framework for California’s K-12 public schools, states the history curriculum at each grade level relating to community, state, region, nation, and the world must reflect and integrate the experiences of men and women of different racial, religious, and ethnic groups.

The California Assembly and State Senate passed AB 1775, the Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution, without opposition. Then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed this bill into law on Sept. 23, 2010.

For more information, please go to http://korematsuinstitute.org/

Release Date: 04/06/2012
Contact: Juan F. Gutierrez , Director, Public Relations
Phone: (626) 585-7315
Email: jfgutierrez@pasadena.edu