Recognizing August 10, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988

In observance of the anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, JANM will be closed Tuesday, August 10, 2021.

This legislation reflects the Museum’s commitment to empower history for social justice. The Civil Liberties Act was signed into law on that day by President Ronald Reagan, issuing a formal Presidential apology and symbolic payment of $20,000 of restitution to persons of Japanese ancestry (two-thirds were US citizens) forcibly removed from the West Coast. 

The World War II incarceration of 120,000 people at remote concentration camps by the U.S. government was without due process, or evidence of wrongdoing. For more than a century, Asians were considered “outsiders” in the U.S. The Civil Liberties Act acknowledged this dark chapter of history was driven “largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”

To learn more about the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, here are a few resources:

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