SACRAMENTO – Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday issued a proclamation declaring Jan. 30, 2015, as Fred Korematsu Day in the State of California.
The proclamation reads, “When Fred T. Korematsu received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998, President Clinton said that ‘in the long history of our country’s constant search for justice, some names of ordinary citizens stand for millions of souls — Plessy, Brown, Parks. To that distinguished list today we add the name of Fred Korematsu.’
“Fred Korematsu was, in the best sense of both words, an ordinary hero. A native Californian, born and raised in Oakland and a welder by trade, he simply refused to accept his government’s order to relocate under the brutal and misguided policy of Japanese American internment during World War II.
“Korematsu’s staunch determination to be treated like the loyal American citizen he was came to define his life story, in both his decades-long legal battle against internment and his later recognition as a leader in the cause of civil rights.
“On this 96th anniversary of his birth, we remember him as one who resisted injustice during a dark chapter in our nation’s history, and later worked tirelessly to prevent its repetition.”
This year marks 10 years since Korematsu’s passing at the age of 86.