Minoru Yasui to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Human and civil rights leader will receive the award posthumously at a White House ceremony on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, President Obama will present seventeen individuals, included civil and human rights leader Minoru Yasui, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

Min Yasui Wins Presidential Medal of Freedom

Yasui is best known for his legal case challenging the racial discrimination of military orders that resulted in the incarceration of Japanese-Americans in U.S. concentration camps during World War II. After the war and throughout his life, he fought for the human and civil rights of all people. He died in 1986.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is presented to individuals who have made "especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." This year's recipients also include public servants, artists and activists.

Here's more about Minoru Yasui, from the White House's announcement:

Minoru Yasui (posthumous)

Minoru Yasui was a civil and human rights leader known for his continuous defense of the ideals of democracy embodied in our Constitution. A graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law, Yasui challenged the constitutionality of a military curfew order during World War II on the grounds of racial discrimination, and spent nine months in solitary confinement during the subsequent legal battle. In 1943, the Supreme Court upheld the military curfew order. Yasui spent the rest of his life appealing his wartime conviction. At the time of his death in 1986, he had successfully convinced a trial court to vacate his arrest, and a case challenging the constitutionality of his conviction was pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Yasui also spent his life fighting for the human and civil rights of all people.

Yasui will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously during a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday. The youngest of his three daughters, Holly Yasui, will accept the medal on his behalf, alongside the likes of Willie Mays, Itzhak Perlman, Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg and other luminaries.

More here: Here Are The 2015 Medal Of Freedom Winners, In Their Own Voices.


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