Fred Korematsu Day

January 30th is “Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution”

Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu was an American civil rights activist objecting to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Shortly after the Imperial Japanese Navy launched its attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized that all individuals of Japanese ancestry were to be removed from their homes and forced to live in internment camps, but Korematsu instead challenged the orders and became a fugitive.

The legality of the internment order was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in Korematsu v. United States, but Korematsu’s loss of his civil action against the United States Government was overturned decades later after the disclosure of new evidence challenging the necessity of the internment, evidence which had been withheld from the courts by the U.S. government during the war.

The “Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution” is celebrated on January 30th to commemorate the birthday of Fred Korematsu. It is the first day in U.S. history named after an Asian American.

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