Fred Korematsu was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued a proclamation declaring Jan. 30, 2022, as Fred Korematsu Day in the State of California. The proclamation reads as follows:


In 1942, 23-year-old Fred Korematsu, an Oakland-born welder, took a stand against Executive Order 9066, the federal government’s demand that Japanese Americans report to incarceration camps. Korematsu’s bold act of protest led to his arrest and conviction, which he fought all the way to the Supreme Court.

This year, as we commemorate the l03rd anniversary of his birth, we look back on his extraordinary fight for civil rights — born out of a belief in basic human decency and fundamental human rights — that resonates to this day.

Though the court ultimately ruled against him, Korematsu was exonerated 40 years later. Judge Marilyn Hall Patel said then, “a grave injustice was done to American citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry who, without individual review or any probative evidence against them, were excluded, removed and detained by the United States during World War II.”

In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded Korematsu the Presidential Medal of Freedom, acknowledging his tireless and often thankless work to ensure Americans understood the lessons learned from one of the dark chapters of our history.

This work is far from over, as made clear by the increase in anti-Asian sentiment seen  across the country. Korematsu’s legacy reminds us that we ·can all take action in our daily lives to fight injustice and forge a more equal tomorrow.

NOW THEREFORE I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim Jan. 30, 2022, as “Fred Korematsu Day.”

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 29th day of January 2022.

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