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-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on September 23, 2010.
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. Educational materials were also distributed to school teachers for classroom use.
Fred Korematsu Day was also celebrated in Illinois in 2014, but it isn't clear whether then-Gov. 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.
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.
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