The Life and Legacy of Gordon K. Hirabayashi
Exhibit from University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, Pacific Northwest Collection
Date: February 3 through 28, 2014
During World War II, 24 year-old University of Washington student Gordon Hirabayashi defied the United States order for Americans of Japanese ancestry to leave the West Coast for concentration camps. He turned himself in to the FBI and was tried and convicted in the Federal District Court of Seattle. The case ultimately went to the Supreme Court where it was upheld. After the war, Hirabayashi completed a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Washington, and went on to teach at American University in Beirut, American University in Cairo, and at the University of Alberta in Canada.
It was some 40 years later that Gordon Hirabayashi’s wartime conviction was overturned in an extraordinary case that exposed the suppression and alteration of evidence by the government. Gordon’s principled stand to uphold the Constitution for all Americans is a legacy to be preserved. The story has been documented in dozens of academic publications, documentaries, and theater productions. Gordon dedicated his life to keeping the story of the injustice of Japanese American incarceration alive. In May of 2012, five months after his death, he posthumously received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In 2013, the personal papers of Gordon Hirabayashi were donated to the Pacific Northwest Collection of the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections. They join a growing collection of papers, oral histories, and photographs that help document the Japanese American experience in the Pacific Northwest. This exhibit features items from his papers, including his prison diaries and photographs documenting his life. The Gordon K. Hirabayashi Papers will be open for research on February 24, 2014 in Special Collections.
Items from other collections featured in the exhibit are:
The Ring Family Papers, Acc. 4241, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections. Many letters from this collection are digitized and available online.
The S. Frank Miyamoto Collection, Acc. 2485, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
The exhibit is in coordination with the upcoming symposium entitled Courage in Action: A Symposium on the Life and Legacy of Gordon K. Hirabayashi, for 2014 Day of Remembrance, February 22, 2014. More information online here.
Hold These Truths, a play by Jeanne Sakata. Solo staged reading at Theatre off Jackson, concurrent with the SPF 8 Solo Performance Festival. Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. $15 general admission/$10 seniors and students.
Tickets and information available here.