Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Civil Liberties Day in Washington State

Today, February 19th, is Civil Liberties Day of Remembrance in Washington State.

The Washington State Legislature created Civil Liberties Day of Remembrance in recognition of the atrocities suffered by Japanese Americans during World War II. It stands as an acknowledgment that "in the name of 'military necessity,' Japanese Americans were deprived of their fundamental constitutional rights and civil liberties."

western defense command civilian notice relocating Japanese Americans
Civilian Exclusion Order for King County - Densho Archive

It is important that we not forget the Japanese Americans' incarceration and relocation nor the racial animus that initiated it. HistoryLink, a website dedicated to Washington State's history, has an article about Japanese American incarceration in Seattle and King County with pictures of those affected. The Library of Congress' website has a section on Executive Order 9066, the order that authorized Japanese American incarceration. Additionally, the recent documentary, And Then They Came for Us, by Abby Ginzberg, includes interviews with incarcerated individuals and the daughter of Fred Korematsu, who famously fought his incarceration and relocation during the War.

Gallagher Law Library also has set several books in its Good Reads section about Japanese American incarceration:

A Principled Stand: The Story of Hirabayashi v. United States [eBook] 
Fred Korematsu Speaks Up

Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice

Make sure to stop by and check out the Law Library's resources as part of your Civil Liberties Day celebration.

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