UW|360 Season 4: Episode 10 - Gordon Hirabayashi

July 1, 2014

The University of Washington is now home to a Presidential Medal of Freedom. It was given to the UW this year by the family of the late Gordon Hirabayashi. In 1942, Hirabayashi was a UW student when he defied a curfew and internment orders by the federal government. He was ordered to prison, but was vindicated four decades later when an appeals court overturned his conviction. Hirabayashi died in 2012, never knowing that he was to receive this country’s highest civilian award. Now his family has given his medal to the UW, along with thousands of papers, photos and clippings from Hirabayashi’s personal collection. Our story features highlights of the collection and the presentation of the Medal of Freedom to the UW. We also speak with a UW professor who knew Hirabayashi and two UW librarians who talk about Hirabayashi’s legacy – and what it means for students today.

Gordon Hirabayashi

Anne Jenner, librarian, University of Washington