SAN DIEGO — On the 40th anniversary of the 1983 overturning of the World War II convictions of Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi and Minoru Yasui, the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego (JAHSSD) will honor Dr. Peter Irons at its Day of Remembrance (DOR) program on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 1 p.m. via Zoom.

The research of Irons and the late Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga led to the discovery of critical government intelligence reports that refuted the military necessity assertion for the forced removal and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. This information and Irons’ efforts to assemble the Nikkei attorneys comprising the legal team led to the 1983 victory of the coram nobis court cases that vacated the wartime convictions of Korematsu, Hirabayashi and Yasui.

A professor of history and political science emeritus at UC San Diego, Irons is the author of “Justice at War: The Story of the Japanese American Internment Cases,” as well as a dozen other books on constitutional issues. A recent talk he presented was simply entitled “The Japanese American Incarceration Was Illegal.”

The annual DOR program will also showcase local educator Jaime Brown, 2018 California Teacher of the Year, who began teaching English at San Diego High School 20 years ago. A fourth-generation Japanese American, Brown views a teacher’s primary role as “empowering students with knowledge, intellectual perseverance and [the] thoughtfulness to use their own voices effectively.”

Brown will address the importance of learning from the past as well as the relevance of the Japanese American experience to today’s youth. She will urge her fourth- and fifth-generation peers of Japanese ancestry to share their parents’ and grandparents’ World War II incarceration experience to ensure that similar assaults on American citizens of color will never be repeated.

“The board of the JAHSSD is thrilled to honor Dr. Irons for his life-long contributions to correcting the injustice of the wartime incarceration, and

Jaime Brown, whose tireless efforts as an outstanding teacher give us great hope for a next generation of leaders,” stated JAHSSD President Kay Ochi.

Register for the Zoom program at by Feb. 23. The registration link is also available on the website.

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