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    Annual Event

Day of Remembrance
Annual Event

Portland JACL Day of RemembranceThe Portland JACL hosts an annual Day of Remembrance event to commemorate the incarceration of over 120,000 people of Japanese Ancestry during World War I; many of them Amcerican Citizens.

  • There is no admission cost to attend; donations are welcomed

  • The event venue has historically been at Portland State University’s Hoffman Hall

Date: Early to Mid February
Location: Portland State University,
Hoffmann Hall, 1833 SW 11th Ave.

The Day of Remembrance is an annual commemoration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing of Executive Order 9066 which sent over 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry to American Concentration Camps.

2013 was the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 providing a Presidential apology and symbolic payment, or redress for lost liberty and property.


Japanese American Incarceration During World War II Timeline:

1941

  
Dec.
7
War with Japan
The US declared war on Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in which 2,300 American soldiers and sailors were killed and 1,200 wounded.

A blanket presidential warrant authorized U.S. Attorney General Francis Biddle to have the FBI arrest a predetermined number of "dangerous enemy aliens," including German, Italian, and Japanese nationals. 737 Japanese Americans were arrested by the end of the day.
Portland JACL Day of Remembrance JAPS Keep Moving
Dec.
11
The FBI detained 1370 Japanese Americans classified as "Dangerous Enemy Aliens."

1942

Jan.
5
Japanese American selective service registrants were classified as enemy aliens. Many Japanese American soldiers were discharged or assigned to menial labor.
Jan.
28
The California State Personnel Board voted to bar from all civil service positions, all "descendants of natives with whom the United States [is] at war." The ruling was only enforced against Japanese Americans.
Feb.
4
The US Army established 12 "restricted areas" placing enemy aliens on a 9 pm to 6 am curfew and allowing travel only to and from work.
Feb.
14
General De Witt, commander of the Western Defense during WWII, submitted a memorandum to War Department recommending the mass evacuation of the Japanese.
Feb.
19
Executive Order No. 9066, authorized by FDR, permitted the War Department to prescribe Military Areas for Japanese relocation, to evacuate any or all persons from these areas, and to relocate them in internment camps. The only significant opposition came from the Quakers and the American Civil Liberties Union.Portland JACL Day of Remembrance Japanese Internment Camps
MarchMarch Executive Order. Established the War Relocation Authority (WRA), a civilian agency to administer the military evacuation and internment. On March 24, General De Witt issued the first of 108 separate orders moving all persons of Japanese ancestry to the prescribed Military Areas, and prohibiting them from refusing to move or to leave the areas.
Mar.
28
Minoru Yasui, an Oregon lawyer deliberately broke the military implemented curfew in Portland, by walking around the downtown area and then presenting himself at a police station after 11:00 pm in order to test the curfew’s constitutionality.
Aug.
4
A routine search for contraband at the Santa Anita "Assembly Center" turns into a "riot." Eager military personnel had become overzealous and abusive which, along with the failure of several attempts to reach the camp's internal security chief, triggers mass unrest, crowd formation, and the harassing of the searchers. Military police with tanks and machine guns quickly end the incident. The "overzealous" military personnel are later replaced.
Aug.
7
All persons of Japanese ancestry had been removed to internment camps, approximately 120,000 people from California, Oregon, and Washington.

Click on the map for a larger view of Japanese American Internment Camps west of the Mississippi.

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was formed, consisting entirely of Asian Americans. By the war's end, it was one of the most decorated units in US military history - about 14,000 men served, ultimately earning 9,486 Purple Hearts, 21 Medals of Honor, and an unprecedented eight Presidential Unit Citations.
Portland JACL Day of Remembrance Japanese Internment Camps
Aug.
10
The first inmates arrive at Minidoka, Idaho.
Aug.
12
The first 292 inmates arrive at Heart Mountain, Wyoming.
Aug.
27
The first inmates arrive at Granada, or Amache, Colorado.
Sept.
11
The first inmates arrive at Central Utah, or Topaz.
Sept.
18
The first inmates arrive at Rohwer, Arkansas.

1943

Feb.
1
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team is activated.
April.
13
A Jap's a Jap. There is no way to determine their loyalty... This coast is too vulnerable. No Jap should come back to this coast except on a permit from my office." General John L. DeWitt, head, Western Defense Command; before the House Naval Affairs Subcommittee.
June
21
Hirabayashi v. US. Gordon Hirabayashi, a senior at the University of Washington, challenged military evacuation and curfew orders and was arrested, convicted and jailed. Hirabayashi argued that the orders were an unconstitutional delegation of power and that to them only against citizens of Japanese ancestry amounted to a constitutionally prohibited discrimination solely on account of race. Supreme Court upheld the curfew order as a legitimate exercise of governmentís power to take steps necessary to prevent espionage and sabotage in an area threatened by Japanese attack.

June
23
Yasui v. U.S. In late 1942, Minoru Yasui, an Oregon lawyer, was arrested for violating curfew orders. His lawyers argued the government's restrictions were unconstitutional because they were based upon racial prejudice, not military necessity. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled the government could restrict the lives of civilian citizens during wartime. After spending 9 months in solitary confinement, Yasui was released to an internment camp at Minidoka.

1944

Jan.
20
Secretary of War Stimson announced that Japanese Americans were eligible for the draft.
July.
18
In Cheyenne, Wyoming, a federal district court convicted 63 men from Heart Mountain internment camp of draft resistance and sentenced them to 3 years in federal penitentiary. Seven other leaders and newspaper editor James Omura were arrested for conspiracy to encourage draft resistance.
July.
21
James Omura was acquitted, but the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee leaders were sentenced to three years imprisonment for conspiracy. In January 1945, the Court of Appeals reversed the conspiracy convictions of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee leaders on technical grounds, but they remained in prison until March, 1946.
July.
29
Federal judge dismissed indictments against 26 Tule Lake draft resisters, declaring "It is shocking... that an American citizen be confined on the ground of disloyalty, and then... be compelled to serve in the armed forces, or be prosecuted for not."
Dec.
14
Korematsu v. US. The Supreme Court considered only the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066, which ordered Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II. In a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled that the exclusion order was constitutional and that the need to protect against espionage outweighed Fred Korematsu's individual rights, and the rights of Americans of Japanese descent.
Dec.
19
In Ex Parte Mitsuye Endo the US Supreme Court found that regardless of whether the US government had the right to exclude people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast during the war (as had been decided days earlier in Korematsu v. U.S.), they could not continue to detain a citizen that the government admitted was loyal to the United States. Thus, Endo could no longer be retained in a relocation center and should immediately "be given her liberty." Writing for the unanimous Court, Justice Murphy declared: "I am of the view that detention in Relocation Centers of persons of Japanese ancestry regardless of loyalty is not only unauthorized by Congress or the Executive, but is another example of the unconstitutional resort to racism inherent in the entire evacuation program...racial discrimination of this nature bears no reasonable relation to military necessity and is utterly foreign to the ideals and traditions of the American people." Within 48 hours, the government announced that all mass exclusion orders would be revoked and effective January 2, 1945, at which time the Japanese Americans could go home.

1945

Jan.
2
The exclusion order was rescinded entirely. The internees then began to leave the camps to rebuild their lives at home, although the relocation camps remained open for residents who were not ready to make the move back. The freed internees were given $25 and a train ticket to their former homes.

1948

Jan.
19
In Oyama v. California, the Supreme Court struck down the Alien Land Laws as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The United States Supreme Court decided that specific provisions of the 1913 and 1920 California Alien Land Laws abridged the rights and privileges guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to Fred Oyama, a citizen of the United States in whose name his father, who held Japanese citizenship, had purchased land.

1952

June
27
The McCarran-Walter Immigration and Naturalization Act ended racially-based naturalization ban and nullified the 1790 Naturalization Act which required that anyone who was to become a naturalized citizen of the US had to be a "free white person." The Act was amended, "The right of a person to become a naturalized citizen...shall not be denied or abridged because of race or sex or because such person is married."

1970

The Japanese American Citizen's League formed a Redress Committee which proposed that the U.S. government acknowledge their mistake and asked for $25,000 redress for each internee.

1976

Feb.
19
President Gerald Ford rescinded Executive Order No. 9066.

1980

July.
31
Congress approved and President Jimmy Carter signed Public Law 96-317 that established the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians.

1983

Feb.
24
Report of the Commission of Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians - Personal Justice Denied - concluded that exclusion, expulsion and incarceration were not justified by military necessity; such decisions were based on racial prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership. The Commission recommended monetary compensation to each surviving internee of $20,000.
The Hirabayashi, Yasui, and Korematsu (right) cases were reopened in 1983 by a group of mostly Japanese American attorneys on the basis of newly uncovered documents showing that the government knew Japanese Americans did not pose a security threat but hid that information from the court. The convictions were overturned by the Federal District Court of San Francisco with the court finding that the government was guilty of misconduct during the trial by intentionally withholding documents from multiple federal intelligence agencies clearly acknowledging that Japanese Americans posed no military threat to the U.S.Portland JACL Day of Remembrance Hirabayashi Yasui Korematsu

1988

Aug.
10
The Civil Liberties Act called for the U.S. government to issue individual apologies for all violations of civil liberties and constitutional rights and too issue $20,000 tax-free payments to each internment survivor. Congress allocated $1.2 billion. Signed into law in 1989 by President Bush.

1989

Oct.
27
Already passed by the Senate and now approved by the House, 249 to 166, the bill provides for $20,000 to be paid to each of the estimated 60,000 surviving internees over a three-year period. The first $500 million will be available to the oldest internees next October, the start of the 1991 fiscal year.

Eventually 60,000 survivors received payments

1992

April.
25
Manzanar was designated as a National Historic Site. The 23rd Annual Pilgrimage to Manzanar, held on April 25, 1992, brought more than 2,200 participants to celebrate the designation.

1998

During a White House Ceremony, President Bill Clinton honored Fred Korematsu for pursuing his plea of innocence for 56 years by presenting him with the Medal of FreedomPortland JACL Day of Remembrance Korematsu Clinton Medal of Freedom

2000

June.
President Bill Clinton presenting 21 Medals of Honor in 2000. Twenty of these medals went to American soldiers of Japanese descent of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team that served in the European Theater of Operations during World War II.

One of these Medal of Honor recipients was Senator from Hawaii, Daniel Inouye , a former U.S. Infantry officer.

2001

June.
In June, a national monument was unveiled in Washington, D.C. and dedicated to Japanese American veterans of WWII and to people of Japanese descent who were forced into internment camps.

2005

As a result of legislation sponsored by California Assemblywoman Sally Lieber and passed in 2004 allowing high school districts to give diplomas to internees, 400 total people had received their diplomas, some of them posthumously.
Sept.
California passed the Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties bill, creating the first day in U.S. history to be named after an Asian American. Starting on Jan. 30, 2011 of each year, schools are encouraged to teach Korematsu's story and why it remains so relevant today.

2011

Acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal issued an official Confession of Error, admitting that the office was wrong in defending the country's war-time internment policy in the two U.S. Supreme Court decisions involving Gordon Hirabayashi and Fred Korematsu