This Day in History

March 31, 1944: Frank S. Emi Interrogated

Time Periods: Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944
Themes: Asian American, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements
Frank Emi

Frank Emi (right), leader of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee, stands with a supporter in a photo taken at the height of the draft resistance movement, 1944, Heart Mountain concentration camp, Wyoming. Courtesy of Frank Abe and Frank Emi.

On March 31, 1944 Frank S. Emi was interrogated about his protest of the draft during Japanese American internment.

Emi was a leading figure of the Fair Play Committee, an ad hoc group who protested the drafting of Japanese Americans during World War II. Read some of his testimony below and go to link for more.

EMI: In other words Mr. Robertson, you imply that you have more power than is set forth in the Constitutional Bill of Rights?
ROBERTSON: No, Frank. I have power to do what I am doing.
EMI: Then I contend what you are doing is against the rights I have as a citizen of this country. “I could not believe that the government could actually put us in camp, strip us of everything . . . and then order us into the military as if nothing had happened.” — Frank Emi, in protest of the draft of interned Japanese Americans during WWII.

See the film, Conscience and the Constitution, about 63 Japanese Americans refused to be drafted from an American concentration camp.