Smithsonian exhibit on Lyon campus examines Japanese American history

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The Lyon College Catholic Campus Ministry and the Office of Diversity is hosting the Smithsonian poster exhibition “Right a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II” through Saturday, Feb. 8 in Edwards Commons on the Lyon College.

The exhibition examines the complicated history and impact of Executive Order 9066. This order led to the incarceration of Japanese Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor. They were transported far from their homes to 10 large, barbed wire-enclosed incarceration camps and dozens of other installations from March 1942 to March 1946.

Young and old lived crowded together in the hastily-built camps. They endured poor living conditions and were under the watch of military guards. Meanwhile, Japanese-American men risked their lives fighting for the United States.

Forty years later, members of the Japanese-American community led the nation to confront the wrong it had done. President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, providing an apology and restitution to the living Japanese-Americans who were incarcerated during World War II.

“Righting a Wrong” looks at immigration, prejudice, civil rights, heroism and what it means to be an American. The poster exhibition and related public programs are an opportunity for Lyon College to highlight its work in sharing local and national stories of social justice, civic engagement and the American story.

“Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II” was developed by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and adapted for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The traveling exhibition and poster exhibition are supported by a grant from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, the Terasaki Family Foundation and C.L. Ehn & Ginger Lew.

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