President Obama announced on Nov. 16 that Minoru “Min” Yasui will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Minoru Yasui was a civil and human rights activist best known for his U.S. Supreme Court Case questioning the constitutionality of curfews imposed on Japanese American citizens during World War II.
Cases challenging the World War II internment of Japanese Americans were also brought to the U.S. Supreme Court by Mitsuye Endo, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Fred Korematsu. President Clinton awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Korematsu in 1998, and President Obama similarly honored Hirabayashi in 2012. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is presented to individuals for especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interest of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. (end)