In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15th, then the one hundred and fifty years anniversary of the signing of the Bill of Rights, as Bill of Rights Day.
Less than a year later, Fred Korematsu was arrested in downtown San Leandro for being of Japanese ancestry and refusing to report to an internment camp.
Last night, December 15, 2009, the San Leandro School Board, in an unanimous decision, named the new 9th grade campus "San Leandro High School, Fred Korematsu Campus."
By honoring Fred Korematsu, the school board will inspire students of today and tomorrow that they should cherish and, if necessary, fight for their rights under our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Thank you School Board Trustees and everyone that wrote the board or spoke in support of naming the new school after Korematsu, including last night San Leandro Lions Leroy Smith and Ray Keden.
Fred's wife Kathryn and daughter Karen came to the board meeting after the vote. It was a special moment. They thanked the school board for its action and the community for our support. "I hope my father's story will be an inspiration to high school kids," Karen said of her father, "because they need positive role models."