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City of Miami Designates Fred Korematsu Day

(Miami, FL January 24, 2018) - City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell is the first Japanese-American elected official in South Florida, and together with Mayor Francis Suarez, will proclaim January 30th as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution in the City of Miami.

Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu was an American civil rights activist who objected to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. On Memorial Day 1942, Fred Korematsu was walking down a street in San Leandro, California, when police arrested him on suspicion that he was Japanese.

He was one of nearly 110,000 Japanese-American and Japanese immigrants on the West Coast targeted by the U.S. military for transfer into concentration camps. One of the worst civil liberties violations in American history, it was authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066 of February 19, 1942. Korematsu instead challenged the orders and became a fugitive.

Believing the discriminatory conviction went against freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, Fred Korematsu appealed his case. The legality of the internment order was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in Korematsu v. United States; this ruling has never been explicitly overturned.

Since that time, the United States has recognized the incredible courage of Fred Korematsu and his lifelong contribution to defending the civil liberties for which this great country stands. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan and recognized the grave injustice that was done to United States residents and citizens of Japanese ancestry by the forced relocation and incarceration of civilians during World War II. On January 15, 1998, Fred Korematsu was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed upon a civilian.

"Fred Korematsu's lifelong pursuit of justice is an enduring symbol of, every American's right to liberty, due process, and equality without regard to race, ethnicity, or national origin," said Commissioner Ken Russell.

For any questions or requests for interviews please contact Natalia Vanegas (Commissioner Ken Russell's Public Affairs Manager) at (786) 302-0719.

WHO: Mayor Francis Suarez and Commissioner Ken Russell
WHAT: Fred Korematsu Day Proclamation
WHEN: Thursday, January 25th at 9AM
WHERE: Miami City Hall
3500 Pan American Drive
Miami, FL 33133

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