January 30, 2019: Fred Korematsu Day

WHEREAS, the state of Michigan is pleased to join the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission, Dearborn Public Schools and the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council in recognizing the late Fred T. Korematsu; and,

WHEREAS, Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu was born in Oakland, California on January 30, 1919, as the third of four sons to Japanese immigrant parents; he was one of many American citizens of Japanese ancestry living on the west coast during World War II; and,

WHEREAS, following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order authorizing the U.S. military to require all Americans of Japanese ancestry be placed in internment camps; and,

WHEREAS, Fred T. Korematsu is famously known for his arrest at the age of 23 on May 30, 1942, and conviction on September 8, 1942, for defying the government's order to be moved to internment camps; he appealed his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and in the December 1944 landmark decision of Korematsu v. United States, the high court ruled against him; and,

WHEREAS, nearly 40 years later, on November 10, 1983, Fred T. Korematsu's conviction was formally vacated in the U.S. District Court of Northern California, an action considered to be a pivotal moment in civil rights history; throughout the rest of his life, Fred T. Korematsu remained an activist and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998, the nation’s highest civilian honor;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim January 30, 2019, as Fred Korematsu Day in Michigan.