Standing in the photo is spring 1944 Heart Mountain High School ASB President Kunio Yamamoto, whose family lived in Los Angeles and was sent to the Pomona Assembly Center prior to being sent to Wyoming. (Courtesy of Hirahara Collection, Washington State University Libraries MASC)

HYDE PARK, N.Y. – The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum presents a Day of Remembrance program (virtual) ‑ in observance of the 80th anniversary of FDR’s signing of Executive Order 9066 — with historian Greg Robinson, author of “By Order of the President,” on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 11 a.m. PST, with an encore presentation on the Day of Remembrance, Saturday, Feb. 19, at 11 a.m. PST.

Library Acting Director William Harris will moderate the discussion. The program is free, with no registration required, and will be streamed to the library’s official YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. This program is made possible through the generous support of Patti Hirahara.

In the tense weeks after Japan’s Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, many Americans, particularly those on the Pacific Coast, feared enemy attack and saw danger in every corner. Rumors and sensational media reports heightened the climate of fear. Signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Feb. 19, 1942, Executive Order 9066 led to the incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese descent — including approximately 80,000 American citizens — during World War II. It is widely viewed today as a serious violation of civil liberties. The Day of Remembrance (Feb. 19) is an annual observance of FDR’s signing of EO 9066.

Greg Robinson, a native of New York City, is professor of history at the Université du Québec à Montréal. His books include the award-winning “After Camp: Portraits of Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics,” “A Tragedy of Democracy: Japanese Confinement In North America,” and “By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans.”

Greg Robinson

Patti Hirahara of Anaheim is the last-born descendant of the Hirahara family in the U.S., who arrived here in 1907, and is a third-generation photographer. Her family’s unique story of how her grandfather George Hirahara built a secret photo darkroom and mini-photo studio under his family’s barrack apartment 15-9-A in Heart Mountain, Wyo., and produced a collection of over 2,000 photographs is relatively unknown.

From 1943 to 1945, George and his high school-aged son Frank C. Hirahara took and processed what is considered to be the largest private collection of photos taken at this Japanese American incarceration camp. Through the generosity of Patti Hirahara, these photographs are now part of the George and Frank C. Hirahara Collection at the Washington State University Libraries.

Contact Cliff Laube, public programs specialist, at (845) 486-7745 with questions or for more information.

Designed by Franklin Roosevelt and dedicated on June 30, 1941, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum is the nation’s first presidential library and the only one used by a sitting president. Administered by the National Archives and Records Administration since 1941, the library preserves and makes accessible to the American people the records of FDR’s presidency. The library’s mission is to foster a deeper understanding of the lives and times of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and their continuing impact on contemporary life. This work is carried out through the library’s archives and research room, museum collections and exhibitions, innovative educational programs, and engaging public programming. For more information about the library or its programs, call (800) 337-8474 or visit www.fdrlibrary.org.

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