Fred Korematsu - Kathryn Korematsu Interview Segment 15

Fred's family background, parents' nursery business (ddr-densho-1000-181-1) - 00:01:08
Making the decision to resist incarceration order (ddr-densho-1000-181-2) - 00:03:14
Thoughts on being arrested: "I figured it was unconstitutional what they were doing" (ddr-densho-1000-181-3) - 00:05:57
Being approached by ACLU attorney Ernest Besig (ddr-densho-1000-181-4) - 00:01:54
Finding out about losing Supreme Court case: "I was upset" (ddr-densho-1000-181-5) - 00:05:04
Feelings upon winning 1983 coram nobis case (ddr-densho-1000-181-6) - 00:02:29
Not talking about World War II case (ddr-densho-1000-181-7) - 00:02:10
Children find out about World War II case in school (ddr-densho-1000-181-8) - 00:03:07
Looking back on legal challenges: "I feel that a wrong has righted" (ddr-densho-1000-181-9) - 00:02:27
Working with Wayne Collins and Ernest Besig (ddr-densho-1000-181-10) - 00:04:03
Message for future generations: importance of political activism, education (ddr-densho-1000-181-11) - 00:03:46
Family's return to California following World War II (ddr-densho-1000-181-12) - 00:03:40
Kathryn's family background: growing up in South Carolina (ddr-densho-1000-181-13) - 00:05:36
Living in Detroit, meeting future husband, Fred Korematsu (ddr-densho-1000-181-14) - 00:09:22
Beginning to talk about Fred's wartime conviction (ddr-densho-1000-181-15) - 00:06:21
Raising children, talking with them about Fred's case (ddr-densho-1000-181-16) - 00:05:41
Fred's reluctance to talk about his wartime conviction (ddr-densho-1000-181-17) - 00:03:36
First being contacted by Peter Irons (ddr-densho-1000-181-18) - 00:02:46
Feelings upon hearing the coram nobis verdict (ddr-densho-1000-181-19) - 00:01:51
Helping fundraise for the coram nobis legal team (ddr-densho-1000-181-20) - 00:04:32
Thoughts for future generations: "one person can make a difference" (ddr-densho-1000-181-21) - 00:02:59
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ddr-densho-1000-181-15 (Legacy UID: denshovh-kfred_g-01-0015)

Beginning to talk about Fred's wartime conviction

Due to technical difficulties and conditions at the time of taping, there is loud background noise in this interview.

00:06:21 — Segment 15 of 21

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May 14, 1996

Densho Visual History Collection


Courtesy of Densho


Fred Korematsu
Kathryn Korematsu

Fred Korematsu - Kathryn Korematsu Interview

01:21:43 — 21 segments

May 14, 1996

Seattle, Washington

This interview centers on the experiences of Fred Korematsu, a Nisei born January 30, 1919, in Oakland, California. Mr. Korematsu was working as a welder in San Francisco when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After Executive Order 9066 was issued in 1942, he decided to resist the evacuation orders, and was not removed with his family. He was arrested in May of 1942, taken to jail, and eventually transferred to the Tanforan Assembly Center, California, where his family was being held. He legally challenged the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066, and his case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the order in 1944. Following World War II, Mr. Korematsu moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he married and raised a family before returning to California. In the early 1980s, his case was reopened after the discovery of a crucial document indicating that in the original 1944 case, the federal government had lied to the high court. The conviction was vacated by U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel in 1983, and in 1998, Mr. Korematsu was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

(Due to technical difficulties and conditions at the time of taping, there is loud background noise in this interview.)

Lorraine Bannai, interviewer; Tetsuden Kashima, interviewer; Matt Emery, videographer


Courtesy of Densho