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Hirabayashi Papers at Libraries

Gordon Hirabayashi On May 16, 1942, five months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, the last Seattle bus taking Japanese Americans to internment camps was about to leave. Gordon Hirabayashi’s life was about to change forever.

Hirabayashi, ‘46,‘49,‘52, was in his senior year at the UW and refused to get on the bus. Instead, he turned himself in to the FBI. He was one of three Japanese Americans to violate the government’s exclusion order.

“I wasn’t a rebel looking for a cause,” says Hirabayashi. “In fact, I was preparing to go. But in the days before I was supposed to leave, I realized that I couldn’t do it.” Read more.

Libraries’ Pacific Northwest Collection is adding Hirabayashi’s personal effects to the archive. Hand-penned letters written while in the King County Jail to the Friends Committee, photographs, Auburn High School yearbooks and legal papers will be available for scholars at UW and beyond as a selection of these will be digitized. The Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded posthumously to Hirabayashi in 2012 by President Obama, will be given to UW from the Hirabayashi family and placed on permanent display in the HUB. Visit for a schedule of events and more information.

Photo: Gordon Hirabayashi, 1964.

Jan. 2014 | Return to issue home


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Upcoming EVENTS

Feb. 19: Drs. Randall O'Reilly and Chantel Prat will discuss The Neuroscience of Good Decision Making as part of the 2014 Allen L. Edwards Psychology Lecture Series.

Feb. 27: Career (Re)Launch, a workshop for alumni who are looking to land their first job or transition to a new role after being in the workforce for several years.

March 11: Former president of Starbucks, Howard Behar, joins his daughter, the co-founder of GROW Parenting, in Life Skills for Leaders: An Empowering Talk for Teens + Parents.

More upcoming events


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