Orange County Nikkei Heritage Museum Exhibition / New Birth of Freedom:Civil War to Civil Rights in California

OC Nikkei Heritage Museum New Birth of Freedom Exhibition

New Birth of Freedom: Civil War to Civil Rights in California

Exhibition at the Orange County Agriculture and Nikkei Heritage Museum, Fullerton Arboretum

Presented by the Fullerton Arboretum and the Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton

April 28 – November 13, 2011

Hours: Thursdays, 10 am – 2 pm

Saturdays and Sundays, Noon – 4 pm

Fullerton Arboretum is located at 1900 Associated Road, Fullerton, CA 92831.
(657) 278-3407

www.fullertonarboretum.org

http://www.fullertonarboretum.org/museum_nikkei_current.php

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New Birth of Freedom Special Events

The World War II Experience of Orange County Nikkei in History and Memory

With Chizuko Judy Sugita DeQueiroz and Dr. Arthur A. Hansen

Wednesday, October 19, 4 pm

Seating is limited for event. Reservations recommended.

Call by Friday, Oct. 14 at (657) 278-3407

Exhibition and events free and open to the public

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Public Programs Supporting Museum Exhibition

New Birth of Freedom: Civil War to Civil Rights in California

Lincoln’s California Ally: The Golden State and the Civil War

with Dr. Ronald D. Rietveld

Wed / Sept 7 / 4:00 – 7:00 pm / Meet at Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum

Preregistration appreciated (but not required) / Call by Fri, Sept 2 / 657-278-3407

Dress for the outdoors.

Civil War and President Abraham Lincoln specialist Dr. Ronald D. Rietveld, Professor of History Emeritus at California State University, Fullerton, and a member of the History Advisory and Content Team for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, argues that California, notwithstanding having no direct involvement in the Civil War, greatly aided the Union’s defeat of the Confederacy.

It did this by providing manpower for volunteer regiments, sending gold east, replacing regular forces in territories of the Western U.S., establishing camps and fortifications, suppressing secessionist and Confederate activities within California, and securing the New Mexico territory against the Confederacy.

As for President Lincoln, he enjoyed a friendship for the land beyond the Sierra Mountains. He told an old Illinois friend that he had “long desired to see California” for various reasons, but especially because of “her stand for the Union.” In fact, on the last day of President Lincoln’s life, California was very much on his mind.

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Orange County Japanese Americans in Battle and Behind Barbed Wire

The World War II Experience of Orange County Nikkei in History and Memory with Chizuko Judy Sugita DeQueiroz and Dr. Arthur A. Hansen

Wed / Oct 19 / 4:00– 8:30 pm/ Meet at Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum

Preregistration appreciated (but not required) / Call by Fri, Oct 14 / 657-278-3407

Dress for the outdoors.

Chizuko Judy Sugita DeQueiroz has lived in California her entire life except for 3 and ½ years of World War II when, as a girl of 9 to 12, she was forcibly removed from the West Coast, along with its entire population of Japanese Americans, and confined by the U.S. government with her family in the Poston, Arizona concentration camp.

Before the eviction, her father had owned a nursery in Orange County; her mother had died when she was born, the youngest of 9 children.

On August 6, 1945, her father’s entire family in his hometown of Hiroshima, Japan, except for a cousin and a great aunt, were killed by the U.S. military’s atomic bombing of that city.

After the war Chizuko, then known as Judy, went to college and, in 1953, was crowned Nisei Week Queen.  An artist all of her life, in 2004 Chizuko published a book, Camp Days 1942-1945, in which she depicted in a series of watercolor paintings and verbal narratives a vivid portrayal of her haunting memories about her years of incarceration in Poston.

Her presentation, based on her book, is titled “Memories of Camp Days 1942-1945.”

In his presentation, Dr. Arthur A. Hansen, a professor emeritus of history and Asian American studies at California State University, Fullerton, and the former senior historian at the Japanese American National Museum, focuses on the life and death of Orange County’s most famous hero in World War II, Kazuo Masuda.

His presentation also highlights the racist “patriotic” reception accorded his sister Mary when, after Kazuo’s battlefield death in Italy, she attempted to investigate Orange County conditions prior to her family’s return there from the Gila River concentration camp in Arizona.

In addition, Professor Hansen’s presentation covers the personal visit of Lt. General Joseph W. Stilwell to the Fountain Valley farm house of the Masuda family on December 8, 1944, to pin Kazuo’s Distinguished Service Cross on Mary Masuda, an event followed by a rally at the Santa Ana Bowl in which one speaker was Captain Ronald Reagan.

Moreover, Dr. Hansen discusses how, when Kazuo Masuda’s body was transported in 1948 from Italy to Orange County for interment, the Westminster Memorial Cemetery manager declared that because it was a racially restricted cemetery Sgt. Masuda could not be buried in a “desirable” cemetery section, a decision reversed after intense and supportive public reaction.

Finally, Professor Hansen discusses the successful culmination of the Japanese American redress and reparations movement when, on August 10, 1988, a previously reluctant President Ronald Reagan, reminded of his words at the Santa Ana Bowl back in 1944 (“Blood that has soaked into the sands of a beach is all of one color.

America stands unique in the world, the only country not founded on race, but on a way—an ideal. Not in spite of, but because of our polyglot background, we have had all the strength in the world. This is the American way”), signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

The title of this presentation is “The Masuda Family of Orange County and the American Way.”

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