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File #: 200102    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 1/30/2020 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 1/30/2020
Title: Declaring January 30, 2020 Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution in Philadelphia.
Sponsors: Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Green
Attachments: 1. Signature20010200
Declaring January 30, 2020 Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution in Philadelphia.
WHEREAS, Fred Korematsu was born in Oakland, California, on January 30, 1919 to Japanese immigrant parents; and

WHEREAS, Upon graduation from high school in 1937, Korematsu wanted to serve his country in the military and attempted to enlist, but was rejected because his Selective Service classification had been changed to "Enemy Alien" despite his being a citizen of the United States; and

WHEREAS, Korematsu then worked at the docks in Oakland as a shipyard welder, quickly rising through the ranks to foreman, until his union barred all people of Japanese ancestry and his employment was terminated; and

WHEREAS, When World War II broke out, Korematsu suffered from frequent discrimination like so many other Americans of Japanese ancestry; he was turned away from restaurants and shops and denied the right to work, travel, and ultimately to reside in his native State of California; and

WHEREAS, In 1942, Civilian Exclusion Order No. 34 was authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Executive Order No. 9066; the order imposed strict curfew regulations and required over 120,000 United States citizens and permanent residents of Japanese ancestry to leave their homes on the West Coast and submit to imprisonment based solely on their ancestry; and

WHEREAS, Korematsu refused to comply with the order, and rather than reporting to the assembly center with the rest of his family, Korematsu chose to carry on his life as an American citizen and a citizen of the State of California in defiance of the law; and

WHEREAS, Korematsu was arrested on May 30, 1942, and charged with violating the military's exclusion order; after his conviction in federal court, he was held in squalor in a former horse racing track and then sent with his family to the Topaz concentration camp in Utah, one of ten camps that were used to incarcerate Americans of Japanese ancestry; a...

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