Hawaii Nikkei Legacy Exhibit

Post-War Legacy

Nisei veterans sacrificed and risked much in the face of prejudice to create and expand equal opportunities for their generation and future ones.Their decorated record of wartime service led to the establishment of a more open society in Hawaii.

Many returning Nisei veterans completed college and became businessmen, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and elected public officials.

The Nisei veterans played a crucial part in many milestones in Hawaii and U.S. history including:

  • 1952 — Passage of a law to allow U.S. citizenship to Issei and other Asian immigrants.
  • 1954 — Rise of the Democratic Party in Hawaii.
  • 1959 — Hawaii’s admission to the U.S. as the 50th state.
  • 1988 — Passage of the U.S. Civil Liberties Act allowing reparations to World War II internment camp survivors.

Issei were made eligible for U.S. citizenship in 1952 due in part to the efforts of Nisei veterans, Fresno, California (1955).

Many Nisei were elected to the Hawaii Territorial Legislature after the War and worked for statehood for Hawaii (ca. late 1950s).

Nisei veterans led the campaign for Hawaii statehood (ca. 1959).

Hawaii Congressional delegation with Governor John Burns and President Lyndon Johnson, Honolulu, Hawaii (1960s).

President Ronald Reagan signing the U.S. Civil Liberties Act of 1988, Washington, D.C. (August 10, 1988).

Nisei Veterans Legacy