Fred Korematsu Day

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The Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution is celebrated on January 30 in California to commemorate the birthday of Fred Korematsu, a Japanese-American civil rights activist (see Korematsu v. US). It is the first day in U.S. history named after an Asian American. It was signed into law by then-governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, on September 23, 2010.[1][2]

The day was first commemorated in 2011 at the University of California, Berkeley, as a day recognizing American civil liberties and rights under the Constitution of the United States.[3] Educational materials were also distributed to school teachers for classroom use.[4]

The states of Hawaii[5] (2013), Virginia[6](2015), Florida (2016), New York (2018)[7] and Arizona[8] (2021) have since followed suit and passed legislative bills recognizing Fred Korematsu Day in perpetuity.

Fred Korematsu Day was also celebrated in Illinois in 2014,[9] but it isn't clear whether then-governor Pat Quinn's proclamation extended past the year. Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Utah have submitted resolutions honoring the day, and South Carolina has submitted a bill to their legislature.[10]

Google Doodle on January 30, 2017

Google recognized Fred Korematsu Day in 2017 with a Google Doodle by artist Sophie Diao, featuring a patriotic portrait of Korematsu wearing his Presidential Medal of Freedom, a scene of the internment camps to his back, surrounded by cherry blossoms, flowers that have come to be symbols of peace and friendship between the US and Japan.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "".[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "AB 1775 Assembly Bill". Archived from the original on 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2015-11-10.
  3. ^ Ling Woo Liu (30 January 2011). "California Marks the First Fred Korematsu Day". Time. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  4. ^ Kevin Fagan (29 January 2011). "Fred Korematsu Day a first for an Asian American". SF Gate. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  5. ^ Robbins, Jennifer (30 January 2013). "Gov. Abercrombie declares Fred Korematsu day in Hawaii". Hawaii News Now. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  6. ^ Kai-Hwa Wang, Frances (27 January 2016). "Virginia to Celebrate Korematsu Day for First Time". Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Inaugural NYC Celebration of Fred T. Korematsu Day". Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  8. ^ "Arizona legislation fetes civil rights icon Fred Korematsu". AP NEWS. April 20, 2021. Retrieved September 30, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ All Things Considered (30 January 2014). "Honoring A Japanese-American Who Fought Against Internment Camps". NPR. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  10. ^ Grimes, Ryan (29 January 2016). "Karen Korematsu asks Michigan to honor her father's fight for civil liberties". Michigan Radio. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  11. ^ "Fred Korematsu's 98th Birthday". Google Doodle. Retrieved 30 January 2017.