PSR observes Japanese American Internment Remembrance Day

February 19, 2010

Today, Japanese American Internment Remembrance Day, we celebrate the people affiliated with PSR who fought the injustice of the internment of Japanese Americans.

Five PSR students were relocated to internment camps, including George Aki, who was ordained in the Tanforan Racetrack, where thousands of Japanese immigrants and their American-born families were held. Aki went on to serve as chaplain in the United States Armed Forces and minister to the Congregational Church of San Luis Obispo.

Many members of the PSR faculty resisted the internment. Professor Galen Fisher joined other outspoken critics of Order 9066 to protest the removal of their neighbors and helped form the Fair Play Committee, which advocated for the freedom of internees. Librarian Stillson Judah helped organize libraries at the internment centers. Professor John C. Bennett spoke at a church service lamenting the removal of the Japanese community. And the then-president A. C. McGiffert, Jr. unsuccessfully worked to persuade the directors of the relocation centers to allow the PSR students there to attend their own graduations.

To learn more about Aki and Fisher’s responses to the internment, see the links below.

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/story/1010499.html
http://www.berkeleyside.com/2010/02/15/remembering-berkeleys-vibrant-japanese-american-community/

 

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