“Find Sunshine Among Shadows”

Fred Korematsu Speaks Up
Dear Miss Breed

Last October, I received the Loft Literary Center’s Mirrors and Windows Fellowship, which is named for Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop’s crucial essay, “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors” (1990), which discusses the lack of diversity in books. The program, mentors writers of color to write books for children and young adults. My project is a middle-grade children’s book based on Fred Korematsu Speaks Up and Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II and a Librarian Who Made a Difference. Fred Korematsu Speaks Up is a children’s book about his fight against the mass incarceration, and Dear Miss Breed is an epistolary picture book about a California librarian, Clara Breed who corresponded with many of the children in the camps, advocating for them and condemning the mass incarcerating, and, much like the Loft fellowship, used literature to foster community and understanding toward Japanese-Americans.

I will use these two books as models to chronicle the history of Japanese-Americans with disabilities in the camps, and disabled soldiers. I hope to create a book for younger children on the subject and eventually chronicle Japanese-American disability history.

Over the last few years, I have been researching disability in Japanese-American history. When I was researching mixed-race Japanese-American history, I came across two Deaf Japanese-American women Hannah Takagi and Nancy Ikeda, who had been incarcerated in the camps as children, and had intermarried. I found them again, during my Oral History course in grad school when I discovered that UC Berkeley had a collection of oral histories, which included Takagi and Ikeda and Ronald Hirano, who had been a boy and had not been evacuated with the rest of his family. He had stayed with a Caucasian family friend so that he could continue attending the California School for the Deaf, a privilege not accorded to any other Deaf Japanese-American student and – as far as I am aware – no other Japanese-American student with a disability.

This was contrary to the War Relocation Authority (WRA) edict, which stipulated that:

“5. The following classes of persons of Japanese ancestry are hereby authorized to be temporarily exempted or deferred from future exclusion and evacuation upon furnishing satisfactory proof as provided in Proclamation No. 5, dated March 30, 1942:

(a) Patients in hospitals or confined  elsewhere, and too ill or incapacitated to be removed therefrom without danger of life;

(b) Inmates of orphanages and the totally deaf, dumb or blind.”

But, according to a Manzanar Free Press article in July 1942,  “There were many other children from other schools for handicapped children on the west coast. A list prepared by WRA shows that there were 14 public and two private schools with appropriate facilities; however, none allowed students to return during the war.

Unless someone was severely mentally handicapped, they were sent to the camps. There were approximately 2,000 persons over 65 years old, and 1,000 handicapped or infirm persons were incarcerated. The Hoshida family lived in Hilo, Hawaii. George was a Buddhist who was involved in temple activities and a community leader. He was arrested and transferred to numerous camps in Hawaii and the mainland through the war. Their youngest daughter Taeko who was mentally disabled was sent to the Big Island institution and died before her family returned home. His wife – who was pregnant at the time – and his daughters were also sent to several camps on the mainland. The family was finally reunited in Jerome in Arkansas. before being transferred a final time to Gila River.

As with the Hoshida family, Koichi and Tora Kurima had to leave their blind and mentally disabled son Toyoki behind when they were sent to Fresno assembly center. He only ate Japanese food, understood only Japanese and had never been separated from his family. He died a month later

But the tragedies continued in the camps. In many cases, poor medical care and other problems lead to disability and death for adults and children. Yasuji and Alice Matsui and their son Robert, the future Congressmen were sent to Tule Lake in California. Alice contracted German measles in camp and as a result, their daughter Barbara was born blind. Barbara would go on to teach at Sacramento High School and Robert would become a Congressman, advocating for people with disabilities

Fred and Mabel Ota were sent to Poston, in Arizona. Mabel was pregnant when they arrived, their baby due in May 1943. In late 1942, Fred received a job offer in New York and left Mabel in camp. He planned to return before the baby was born, but Mabel went into labor a month early. The only obstetrician in camp had collapsed from exhaustion, so Mabel was left mostly alone for twenty-eight hours. When the baby’s health began to deteriorate, the obstetrician resorted to using a local anesthetic and forceps to deliver, as there was no anesthesiologist. As a result of oxygen deprivation during birth, their daughter Madeline was born with mental disabilities and gan mal epilepsy. Mabel testified about her families difficulties during the Redress hearings.

George and Tama Tokuda met and married in Minidoka, Idaho. Soon after, Tama developed a kidney infection and was prescribed painkillers and a powerful antibiotic. Her son Floyd was born with a mental disability which the family attributes to the poor medical care, including the antibiotic

Each Norihiro was fifteen when he and his parents and siblings arrived at Manzanar. His family was transferred to Tule Lake after being labeled “disloyal” where Eiichi contracted tuberculosis. He eventually lost his right leg and was on crutches during the annual pilgrimage at Manzanar in 2004.

At Gila River, John Fuyuumo recalled more than seventy years later, that “The guards in the watchtowers had their weapons pointed in the camp and anyone leaving without permission was shot…I remember there was a young boy who was mentally disabled and he managed to get through the fence and kept walking. The guards told him to stop and he wouldn’t, and they killed him.”

But not all stories were so heartbreaking. Most of the camps, created schools for children with disabilities, incorporating them into camp life, such as articles in the newspapers, parties, and other events. The school at Tule Lake in California, established in summer 1943 was named the Helen Keller School, at Hannah Takagi’s suggestion. Although the school closed within a month after Tule Lake was designated the segregation center for those deemed “disloyal,” and most of the children were left without a school. A few such as Hannah and Kazuko Momii were lucky enough to go to schools outside camp, but most, especially those with developmental disabilities had to abandon their education or continue with inadequate facilities and untrained teachers. 

But elsewhere, in battlefields across Europe and the Pacific, soldiers lost eyesight, limbs, and their lives. Japanese-American men from across the country volunteered or were drafted, including those in the camps.Kenneth Otagaki, a Hawaii native was critically wounded at Cassino, Italy, while serving with the famous 100th Battalion, composed of soldiers of Japanese ancestry. He was one of eight volunteers who went forward in the snow to rescue two wounded men. Four men were killed and three, including Private Otagaki were seriously injured. “The blast mangled Otagaki’s right leg so badly it ultimately had to be amputated. It sheared two fingers off his right hand, irreparably damaged his eyesight, broke a bone in his right arm, chewed part of a rib out of his side, covered his body with wounds.” He studied animal husbandry at Iowa State College. Kazuo Mori, who, along with his family was incarcerated in Topaz, Utah and joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. In his final month of service, Mori was hit by a mortar shell became a quadriplegic but regained the use of his arms and hands

Around 1944 or 1945, George Hatfield from Modesto had introduced a resolution barring Japanese-Americans from ever returning to to California. John F. Shelley, then a San Francisco union labor leader and senator, later major and Congressman, went to DeWitt General Hospital where some Japanese-American veterans – some with missing limbs – were being cared for. He brought them to the Senate chambers as the resolution was about to be brought up and said, “Gentlemen, I would like to have you hear a few words from some American war veterans, wounded American war veterans.”

The group, including men on crutches got up, telling their stories of the hostility they still encountered. When they were finished, the chamber applauded. Hatfield walked over to Shelley and said, “You win, Jack.” He withdrew his resolution.

Walter Oi, who lost his sight gradually until becoming blind in 1956, taught at various colleges and universities, winning many honors in economics, and for his public service and advocating for people with disabilities. HIs research was key in ending the draft in the 1970s.

During the Redress Hearings in the 1980s, to provide monetary compensation and a formal apology for the incarceration, Mabel Okada testified about how camp conditions affect her daughter. Hannah Takagi Holmes testified that she and other Deaf students and those with disabilities missed out on their education in the camps, and in many cases were so far behind that they did not return to school after the war, though some went on to college

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“We have no inheritance of political buncombe”

Women’s suffrage in the United States begins with a series of loses. From 1777 through 1807, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and eventually throughout the United States, lost the right to vote. For over a century afterward, activists worked to restore the right. 

One hundred and five years ago, on January 12, 1915, the United States House of Representatives rejected a voted, 204-174 (here is a breakdown by state and political party, or a more colorful depiction), to reject a constitutional amendment to give women the right to vote. This was the second time that the women’s suffrage had been defeated in less than a year, and the third vote overall. The previous vote was he’d in March 1914, shortly before World War II began. The first time that the suffrage amendment was brought to Congress was 1868.

It would be another four years before the amendment was passed. In the meantime, in 1918, the amendment passed the House but failed in the Senate by two votes. In 1919, the 19th Amendment passed, declaring that the right “to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

Politicians wanted the amendment to become effective before the 1920 general election, so President Wilson called a special session of Congress and the bill was brought before the House again. The amendment, known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment passed 304 to 89 on May 21, 1919. After the senate ratified the amendment, 36 states needed to ratify it to become law. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state. The 1920 federal election was the first which allowed women to vote, which historians believe was the reason that Warren G. Harding won the presidency

What is often overlooked is that the 19th amendment only granted suffrage to white women. The 1924 Indian Citizenship Act initially stated that “full” citizenship would be granted to Native Americans, but the Senate removed the word “full” and did not include suffrage. It was not until 1948 that the last prohibitions against Native American suffrage were removed. Chinese-Americans were granted suffrage in 1943 under the Magnuson Act, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act. The McCarran-Walter Act removed barriers for all Asians in 1952. Finally the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibited discriminatory restrictions on voting rights, allowing blacks, who had been prevented by lynching, literacy tests, and other barriers, to vote. In 1971, the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18., as Vietnam War protestors argued that those who were old enough to fight were old enough to vote.

Switzerland was one of the last countries in western Europe to grant female suffrage, in 1971. But within thirty years, it was one of the few countries to have more women serving in the government. Saudi Arabia granted women suffrage in 2011, allowing them to vote in 2015.  

Hattie Caraway

Seventeen years after the vote failed in the House of Representatives, on January 12, 1932,  Hattie Ophelia Wyatt Caraway becomes the first woman elected to the United States Senate. She served for fourteen years.

Hattie Caraway (February 1, 1878-December 21, 1950) was born on a farm near Bakerville, Tennessee to William Carroll Wyatt, a farmer and shopkeeper, and Lucy Mildred Burch Wyatt. She received a B.A. in 1896 from the Dickson (Tennessee) Normal College and taught school for several years in rural Arkansas, with her fiancé , Thaddeus Horatio Caraway. They had three sons, Robert, Paul, and Forrest, who all became West Point cadets. Thaddeus became an attorney, and eventually served four terms in the House and two terms in the Senate. Though Hattie’s public role was limited, in private she place a critical role in his career, working at campaign headquarters, speaking on his behalf, and receiving much of the credit for his victory in the 1920 election.

Thaddeus died on November 6, 1931, and a few days after his funeral, Governor Harvey Parnell named Hattie as his successor, because “I feel she is entitled to the office held by her distinguished husband, who was my friend..,and his widow is rightfully entitled to the honor.”

The Washington Post protested that, “Mrs. Caraway should have been given the appointment on her own merit and not on the basis of sentimentality or family claim upon the seat.” 

A month later, on December 8, Hattie claimed her Senate seat, and her place was guaranteed through the end of term in early 1933. On January 12, 1932, Hattie won the special election against two Independent candidates. The election led to the Arkansas Women’s Democracy Club being created to get out the vote and raise money. On May 10, the deadline for filing for the August 10 Democratic primary, Hattie announced her candidacy. She won 44.7 percent of the vote, carrying 61 of the state’s 75 counties and won the Senate seat.

During her 14-year career, she was known as “Silent Hattie” because she only spoke 15 times. She became the first named chair of the Enrolled Bills Committee in 1933, the first female Senate committee chair, where remained there until she left Congress in 1945. Hattie was also the first woman to preside over the Senate, the first senior woman Senator (after Joe Robinson died in 1937), and the first woman to run a Senate hearing. She was also assigned to the Commerce Committee and the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry

Her civil rights record was mixed, as she voted for the Lucretia Mott Equal Rights Amendment in 1943, but she voted against the antilynching law of 1938 and, in 1942, joined other southern Senators in a filibuster to block a proposed bill that would have eliminated the poll tax.

In 1938, Hattie ran again, supporting New Deal legislation, and defended her gender and age through her campaign. She won the general election, but in 1944, she finished last among the Democratic contenders. In 1945, President Roosevelt nominated her for the Federal Employees’ Compensation Commission. After serving for a year, President Truman promoted her to the commission’s appeals board, where she remained until she died on December 21, 1950.

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“Seldom, very seldom does complete truth belong to any human disclosure”

Jane Austen’s (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817)) fourth novel (after Sense and Sensibility in 1811, Pride and Prejudice in 1813, and Mansfield Park in 1814) Emma was published on December 23, 1815.  Austen wrote Emma from January 21, 1814 to March 29, 1815. Instead of using the same publisher as she had for Mansfield Park, Austen went to John Murray, The Quarterly Review publisher. Some of his clients include Lord Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage  in 1811 and Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1859.

Although the novel went on sale on December 23, 1815, as it was so close to the end of the year, the publication date on the title page is listed as 1816. As she had with her previous novels, Austen published Emma anonymously, and the title page reads, “by the Author of ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ etc, etc.” However, there was a difference in this work: a dedication to the Prince of Wales, who admired her work, though Austen disliked him. She had met him and his librarian, James Stanier-Clarke while visiting her brother a few months earlier. During a tour of Carlton House, Stanier-Clarke wrote that Austen “was at liberty to dedicate any future work” to the Regent.

A few weeks before Emma was published, Austen wrote to Murray, expressing concerns about how her novel would be received: “I am very strongly haunted by the idea that to those Readers who have preferred P&P. it will appear inferior in Wit, & to those who have preferred MP. very inferior in good Sense.” Her fears were somewhat justified, as some of her family liked it, some disliked it, and most thought it somewhere between Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park. The public was also ambivalent about Emma and by October 1816, only 1,248 copies had been sold. Only in February 1817 did Austen finally received any profit from Emma, though a quarter of the print run still unsold.

While the plot, form, and technique were not revolutionary, its narrative was. Emma is a “self-deluded young woman with the leisure and power to meddle in the lives of her neighbours” and the narrative “was designed to share her delusions.” Not until the twentieth century did this style of writing have a name: free indirect style (from the French: style indirect libre), which “describes the way in which a writer imbues a third-person narration with the habits of thought or expression of a fictional character.”

Emma though unpopular initially has been turned into films, including Clueless released in 1995. It was announced in October 2018 that there will be remakes of both Emma and Clueless in the near future. The novel was adapted into Jane Austen’s Emma: The Musical, released in 2007.

Yohl Ik'nal.svg

Mały koleżka 

Yohl Ikʻnal, also known as Lady Kan Ik and Lady K’anal Ik’nal, whose name means “Lady Heart of the Wind Place,” (Died November 4, 604) acceded to the throne on December 23, 583, as queen of the Maya city-state of Palenque until she died in 604. She was the first female ruler of Lakam Ha (Palenque).

She was either the daughter or sister of Kan Bahla I, who had preceded her. During her reign, her rival Kalakmul attacked twice, but she defeated him. She had at least one son, Ajen Ohl Mat, who succeeded her on January 1, 605 and ruled until he died on August 8, 612.

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Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears

First Ellis Island Immigrant Station, built in 1892

The cluster of islands, including what would become known as Ellis Island, were known to the Algonquin as “Oyster Islands.” Ellis Island was know as “Little Oyster Island,” despite being the second largest. Though probably not used for permanent settlement, the island was still considered Native American territory, so when the Dutch wanted to obtain rights to it in 1630, they made a purchase agreement. The island changed hands several times and began serving other purposes. From the mid-1700s through at least the 1830s, it became a place for public executions, including “Pirate Anderson,” who was publicly hanged in 1765.

In 1774 Samuel Ellis purchased the island and it was re-named for him. The island passed to his heirs until New York City bought it in 1808. It continued to be used for military purposes to varying degrees, until 1890 when it began to be used primarily for immigration. The island changed dramatically as the federal government built new facilities to accommodate the thousand of immigrants who came through the port, including buildings for medical care, processing, and housing.

Until 1875, immigration was handled by each state, except for minor quotas. That year, the federal government enacted the first exclusion law, barring criminals and prostitutes. In 1882, it added “any convict, lunatic, idiot, or any person unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge.” In 1885, the Alien Contract Labor Law, aimed at Chinese laborers, made it “unlawful to import aliens for labor under contract.” These restrictions, and the difficulty that states had to care for sick or indigent migrants led immigration to become centralized under the federal government. New York’s state immigration facility at Castle Garden was deemed inadequate, and a new location was sought. Opposition to using Bedloe’s Island, where the Statue of Liberty stood, Ellis Island was chosen in 1890.

The site official opened on January 1, 1892 and seven hundred immigrants landed on the island. The first was Annie Moore from Ireland. She arrived with her two brothers to join their parents in New York, the event immortalized in the ballad “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears.” However, the song was among many misconceptions about Annie Moore. She was seventeen, not fifteen, and instead of moving to Texas, she spent the rest of her life in New York, though this was not corrected until 2006.

Over the next several decades, the site grew, as more land and buildings, including dormitories, a greenhouse, and hospital were added. As immigration decreased in the 1920s, the site changed in the 1930s to a detention center. It officially closed on November 12, 1954. In 1965, it the National Park Service designated it as a national park, rehabilitating the main immigration building and landscape.

Many books, both fiction and non-fiction include immigrants’ experiences at Ellis Island. Ellis Island Interviews: In Their Own Words explores immigration across Europe, Chinese immigration in New York City’s Chinese Community, though most Asian immigrants arrived on the west coast through Angel Island, and parts of black immigration in Caribbean Americans in New York City 1895-1975. Black immigrants came from the Caribbean, and from the southern United States.

Some of the well-known people who passed through Ellis Island include Antonius Dvorak, who arrived on September 27, 1892. He wrote “The New World Symphony” while serving as the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America from 1892-5. The them from the “Largo” portion of the symphony was adapted into “Goin’ Home” by Dvorak’s pupil William Arms Fisher, who wrote the lyrics in 1922. W.E.B Du Bois, African-American scholar and civil rights activist, passed through Ellis Island on March 18, 1924 when he returned to the United States from France. Lin Yu’Tang, a Chinese scholar who popularized classic Chinese literature in the West came to attend university. When he returned to the United States in 1931, he was briefly detained for inspection, and he was nearly deported for his leftist views.

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“If I can create the minimum of my plans and desires, there shall be no regrets”

Women in Aviation International (WAI) began in 1990 with its first International Women in Aviation Conference was held in Prescott, Arizona and became a nonprofit in 1994. WAI encourages and advances women in aviation and includes astronauts, pilots, maintenance technicians, air traffic controllers, educators, flight attendants, airshow performers, airport managers, and others. Membership includes mostly aviation professionals and enthusiasts in the U.S., and high school and college and university students, international and corporate members.

WAI provides resources to assist women and encourage women to consider aviation and related careers, including education outreach to industry, educators and industry members about women such as Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, and many other firsts, Bessie Coleman, the first civilian licensed African-American pilot, Eileen Collins, first (and so far only) female Shuttle commander, Jeana Yeager, who along with co-pilot Dick Rutan, completed the first nonstop, non-refueled flight around the world in 9 days, Nicole Malachowski, the first female Thunderbird pilot, and many others.

Their latest venture, is the Girls in Aviation Day program for girls 8 to 17 (though the promotional material for the first event lists the maximum age as 16), launched on September 26, 2015. WAI sent proclamations to all governors requesting that they declare September 26, 2015 as Girls in Aviation Day, which many states did. Events across the country led several organizations such as the WAI North Texas Chapter and Lone Star Aviators Chapter to collaborate for their event at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, which included panel discussions and a ride on a former American Airlines Flagship Detroit, a restored DC-3 airplane. The “Smithsonian Day” activities included events Such as…

The Florida Memorial University Chapter event included speakers and breakout sessions by topic, such as air traffic control, pilots, airport operations and human resources, and a visit to Endeavor Flight School to learn about the university’s Cessna 172s.

The event was also international, with the WAI Hong Kong Chapter promoting an essay contest for girls on “How Aviation Inspires Me.” The top ten essayists were given a tour of Cathay Pacific’s training center in Hong Kong, including the A300 simulator.

From 2015 to 2017, Girls in Aviation Day was celebrated on the last Saturday in October. However, beginning in 2018, it was moved to October and this year will be celebrated on October 5. A Girl Scout Patch was created in 2016, to be worn on the back of the vest “to show participation and interest in a subject or activity.”

This year, there are events in Australia, Africa (Botswana, Cameroon, South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana), England, India, Spain, and several other countries.

Girls in Aviation Day coincides with the beginning of World Space Week, October 4-10, “to celebrate each year at the international level the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition.” The event was established in 1999 and by 2012, it was “the largest annual space event in the world.” In 2017, there were over 3,700 events in 80 nations, according to the World Space Week Association (WSWA).

That week was selected because it included the date that Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite in 1957, and October 10, the day the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, or “Outer Space Treaty” was signed in 1967.

The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the International Astronomical Union, and the Ethiopian Space Science Society organized a workshop on astronomy for secondary teachers in Ethiopia, following a similar in 2011 in Bangladesh. The workshops would help secondary school teachers learn astronomy to include in curricula, including basic astronomy and telescope demonstrations.

The 2019 theme is “The Moon: Gateway to the Stars,” to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing. The 2018 theme was “Space Unites the World,” including “Ladies Do Launch,” a series of panel interviews with women working in the space industries across the United States. There were events in Iran, Thailand, Syria, Lebanon, India, and many other countries.

A few weeks after World Space Week, the US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had its first all-female space walk on October 18. To celebrate the event, Delta Airlines flew 120 girls to NASA with an all-female crew. Stephanie Wilson communicated from Johnson Space Center.

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