SAN FRANCISCO — The California Historical Society, 678 Mission St. in San Francisco, will celebrate its 1972 landmark exhibition and book “Executive Order 9066” on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m.
The first to publicly explore the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans, the exhibition premiered at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor and UC Berkeley’s University Art Museum before traveling nationally. The program will include individuals and descendants of those who visited the exhibition along with the curator of the Dorothea Lange collection at the Oakland Museum of California.
The program, presented in partnership with Friends of Topaz, will be moderated by historian Charles Wollenberg.
After the discussion, California Historical Society’s reference librarians and archivists will provide an open house in the North Baker Research Library and will show collections related to the executive order.
• Pat Hayashi was born in Topaz, Utah. He grew up in the Bay Area and attended UC Berkeley, and earned a B.A. in English literature and a Ph.D. in public policy. At Berkeley, he served as head of the newly founded Asian American Studies Program from 1971 to 1973. He later served as associate vice chancellor for admissions and enrollment. In that capacity, he initiated the campus’s effort to review applicants holistically and to assess their achievements and promise in terms of the opportunities they enjoyed and the hardships they faced.
From 1999 to 2004, he was associate president of the University of California system. He was the chief architect of UC President Richard Atkinson’s call for fundamental changes the SAT to make it more suitable for a democratic society. He retired from UC in 2004.
In retirement, he initiated a challenge to the National Merit Scholars Program on the grounds that it advanced a fraudulent and discriminatory definition of merit. As a result of his efforts, all UC campuses ceased participating in the program in 2006. He now spends his time traveling and learning to paint and sing. He serves on the Advisory Committee for the California Civil Liberties Public Education Fund, a program aimed at ensuring that the lessons of the Japanese American concentration camps are not forgotten.
• Drew Heath Johnson is curator of photography and visual culture at the Oakland Museum of California, where he has worked since 1989. Among his many duties is guardianship and sharing of the Dorothea Lange Archive and Collection, which holds more than 6,000 vintage prints and 20,000 negatives, along with personal correspondence, field notes, proof sheets, and working documents from the artist.
His many exhibitions at the museum include “Silver & Gold: Cased Images of the California Gold Rush,” “Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California,” “Capturing Light: Masterpieces of California Photography, 1850-2000,” and the upcoming “Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing.” He is a recipient of a California Book Award for the catalog of “Capturing Light.” A native Californian, he has been a student of photography since purchasing his first daguerreotype at the age of 14.
• Tracy Takayanagi-Hui. “Since the fourth grade, my mother saw the importance of enrolling me into the Asian studies program that was being offered at such a young age. She was the one that opened up my eyes into recognizing myself as an Asian female in society. I continued these Asian studies programs again at San Francisco State in the early 1980s when interracial relationships were being talked about in society. It was a big deal back then because it did affect our parents’ outlook about other nationalities …
“With each stepping stone during my life … I’ve now landed as a volunteer working in the Friends of Topaz Museum group. This experience has been the most rewarding and socially sympathetic to other Japanese American families that were interned in Topaz camp. Just like my grandparents and parents alike, I share the same ironic stories of an upheaval time in their lives. The evacuation time changed their future forever.
“It doesn’t surprise me what I ran across recently when I opened up my father’s book one day and something fell out of it. I take it as a sign from my father to go ahead and share yet another experience.
“I’ve come full circle with growing up hearing my families stories during camp and now sharing them with anyone who is interested in listening to them.”
• Chuck Wollenberg teaches history at Berkeley City College and is the convener of the California Studies Seminar at UC Berkeley. He is a former CHS board member and former book review editor for what was then called the California Historical Society Quarterly. He has written several books and articles, primarily on 20th-century California social history, most recently “Berkeley: A City in History” and (with Marcia Eymann) “What’s Going On: California and the Vietnam Era,” both published by UC Press.
In 2012 his article “Dear Earl: The Fair Play Committee, Earl Warren, and Japanese Internment” was published in California History. He is currently working on a book on Wayne Collins, the civil rights attorney who defended Fred Korematsu, Iva Toguri (aka Tokyo Rose), and 5,000 Tule Lake prisoners who recovered their renounced American citizenship, which is scheduled to be published next year by Heyday.
For more information, visit https://californiahistoricalsociety.org/.