Gordon Hirabayashi Interview IV Segment 1

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ddr-densho-1000-20-1 (Legacy UID: denshovh-hgordon-04-0001)

Being held in the King County jail, unable to be released on bail

00:06:31 — Segment 1 of 14

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February 17, 2000

Densho Visual History Collection


Courtesy of Densho


Gordon Hirabayashi

Gordon Hirabayashi Interview IV

01:49:44 — 14 segments

February 17, 2000

Seattle, Washington

Nisei male. Born April 23, 1918, in Seattle, Washington. Spent most of his childhood in Thomas, Washington, where his parents were part of a Christian farming co-op. Attended the University of Washington where he was active in the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), the conscientious objector movement, and became a Quaker. At the outbreak of World War II, he was one of only a handful of individuals to challenge the curfew and removal orders being enforced against Japanese on the West Coast, citing "Christian principles," and asserting "a duty to maintain the democratic standards for which this nation lives." He turned himself in to the FBI, was found guilty, and served time for violating the curfew order, and failing to report for "evacuation." While serving time for this conviction, Gordon was served with a draft notice and again, refused to comply. He subsequently served another period of time as a draft resister. In 1943 the Supreme Court upheld his convictions. Some forty years postwar, in 1986, his case was reopened and his convictions surrounding the incarceration were vacated by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing in part that, "racial bias was the cornerstone of the internment orders."

Tom Ikeda, interviewer; Alice Ito, interviewer; Dana Hoshide, videographer


Courtesy of Densho