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January 30, 2021: Fred Korematsu Day

WHEREAS, the state of Michigan is pleased to join the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission 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, and 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 an internment camp, as well as the ruling against him in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Korematsu v. United States; 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; and,


WHEREAS, Fred T. Korematsu remained an activist throughout his life 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, 2021, as Fred Korematsu Day in Michigan to honor the legacy of Fred T. Korematsu and recognize his many contributions to America’s civil rights movement.