"Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World
War II" to Open at the Branigan Cultural Center
Note: Corrects the date the news release was issued.
The Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main St., announces the opening of “Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II,” a Smithsonian traveling exhibition that examines the complicated history and impact of Executive Order 9066 that led to the incarceration of Japanese Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
A coordinating staff-developed exhibition, “Bound in New Mexico,” examines the four incarceration camps in Lordsburg, Santa Fe, Fort Stanton, and Old Raton Ranch in New Mexico. “Righting a Wrong” and “Bound in New Mexico” will be on public view from January 22 to April 2, 2022.
Embracing themes that are as relevant today as they were 75 years ago, “Righting a Wrong” looks at immigration, prejudice, civil rights, heroism, and what it means to be an American. The exhibition explores the complex history through historical images, personal stories, and objects from those incarcerated at the camps.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan on Dec. 7, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which sent 75,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry and 45,000 Japanese nationals to incarceration camps. From March 1942 to March 1946, 10 large, barbed wire-enclosed incarceration camps and dozens of other installations were built west of the Mississippi River. Young and old lived crowded together in the hastily built camps, endured poor living conditions, and were constantly watched by military guards. At the same time, brave Japanese American men risked their lives fighting for the United States.
More than 40 years later, members of the Japanese American community led the nation to confront the wrong it had done. The U.S. Congress formally recognized that the rights of the Japanese American community had been violated and President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, providing an apology and restitution to the living Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II.
“Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II” was developed by the National Museum of American History and adapted for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
The Branigan Cultural Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The museum is accessible via RoadRUNNER Transit Route 1, Stop 1.
For information, visit the Museums System website at MUSEUMS | Las Cruces, NM (las-cruces.org) or follow us on Facebook and Instagram @LCMuseums, or call 575/541-2154.