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Fred Korematsu

activist
Born: 1919
Birthplace: Oakland, Calif.

Korematsu was born to a Japanese-American family that owned a flower nursery. After World War II broke out, Japanese living in Pacific states were subject to curfews, and later sent to internment camps. Korematsu refused to go to an internment camp. In 1942 he was arrested and sent to a camp. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld his conviction in 1944 on the grounds of military necessity. In 1983, Korematsu appealed his conviction. Later that year a federal court in San Francisco overturned the conviction, stating that the government's case at the time had been based on false, misleading, and racially biased information. In 1988 Congress passed legislation apologizing for the internments and awarded each survivor $20,000.

Died: March 30, 2005

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