Senator Jani Iwamoto proposes the following substitute bill:




Chief Sponsor: Jani Iwamoto

House Sponsor: Merrill F. Nelson


8     General Description:
9          This concurrent resolution recognizes the achievement of establishing the Topaz
10     Museum and Education Center to preserve the Topaz Relocation Center site and
11     educate the public about Japanese American internment history.
12     Highlighted Provisions:
13          This resolution:
14          ▸     recognizes the achievements of Jane Beckwith, founder and current president of the
15     Topaz Museum Board, the past and present members of the Topaz Museum Board,
16     and other groups and individuals in bringing the vision of the Topaz Museum and
17     Education Center to reality and providing a place where residents of and visitors to
18     the state can learn valuable lessons regarding civil rights.
19     Special Clauses:
20          None

22     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
23          WHEREAS, during World War II, as described in the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, "race
24     prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership" led to over 120,000 people of
25     Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of whom were American citizens, being forced from their homes

26     in west coast states and incarcerated in camps such as the Topaz Relocation Center near Delta,
27     Utah;
28          WHEREAS, the Topaz Museum Board, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established in
29     1996 after raising money to restore a portion of an original Topaz recreation hall that had been
30     used as the Boy Scouts meeting place during the period of incarceration;
31          WHEREAS, the Topaz Museum Board, under the direction of its founder and current
32     president, Jane Beckwith, consists of people committed to a mission of: preserving the Topaz
33     site; telling the history of incarceration during World War II; honoring the internees;
34     interpreting the impact of the experience on the internees, their families, and the residents of
35     Millard County; and educating the public in order to prevent a similar denial of American civil
36     rights from recurring;
37          WHEREAS, since its founding, the Topaz Museum Board has purchased 633 acres of
38     the original site of the Topaz Relocation Center, conducted teacher workshops, held
39     pilgrimages, and raised awareness of the history of Topaz;
40          WHEREAS, the Secretary of the Interior designated the Topaz site as a National
41     Historic Landmark in 2007;
42          WHEREAS, the Topaz Museum Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, has recently
43     completed an ambitious campaign that raised approximately $3,000,000 to create the
44     long-awaited and much-needed Topaz Museum and Education Center to tell the story of
45     Topaz;
46          WHEREAS, the Topaz Museum and Education Center is the crowning jewel of a
47     preservation program that began in 1991 to ensure the story of Japanese American internment
48     during World War II is remembered and the site of the Topaz camp is preserved;
49          WHEREAS, the museum received many donations, including $300,000 from the state
50     of Utah and $1,200,000 from the National Park Service through the Japanese American
51     Confinement Sites grant program, allowing the Topaz Museum Board to complete this project;
52          WHEREAS, the Friends of Topaz, an organization created to support the Topaz
53     Museum Foundation by engaging with communities, constituents, and individuals, has played
54     an important role in promoting the mission, vitality, and success of the museum;
55          WHEREAS, the Topaz Museum Foundation has maintained a strong relationship with
56     over 3,000 people, including many former internees, who have financially supported the

57     foundation's programs and whose help was essential in the completion of each of the
58     foundation's projects;
59          WHEREAS, the exhibits for the Topaz Museum and Education Center highlight the
60     personal sacrifices and contributions of more than 11,000 people incarcerated at the desolate
61     Topaz camp;
62          WHEREAS, the exhibits include a collection of 1,000 artifacts, including 110 original
63     pieces of artwork created by internees during their incarceration, over 35 video interviews, and
64     a restored recreation hall;
65          WHEREAS, the Topaz Museum and Education Center has become the official
66     repository for teaching, exploring, and interpreting the history of this troubled period of
67     America's past and the impact that still resonates today;
68          WHEREAS, the museum stands as a memorial to the resilient internees who tried to
69     make camp life as normal as possible and as a witness for the history of the incarceration of
70     people of Japanese ancestry during World War II;
71          WHEREAS, the installations and exhibits use cutting-edge technology combined with
72     historic perspectives to engage and educate the public about the United States Constitution and
73     civil rights;
74          WHEREAS, the Topaz Museum and Education Center will continue to collect and
75     safeguard artifacts, artwork, and video interviews, making them accessible to future
76     generations, and ensuring this period in American history will never be forgotten;
77          WHEREAS, the Topaz Museum Foundation also protects 633 acres of the original
78     Topaz site, which is replete with evidence of gardens, walkways, concrete foundations, and
79     artifacts, giving evidence of Japanese Americans who lived there from September 11, 1942,
80     until October 31, 1945;
81          WHEREAS, visitors can learn this complex history, including information about the
82     four Supreme Court test case appellants-Min Yasui, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Topaz
83     internees Fred Korematsu and Mitsuye Endo-by reading exhibit panels, by seeing artifacts
84     and an original recreation hall, and then by visiting the actual camp site;
85          WHEREAS, this total experience produces an understanding of the stark reality of what
86     happened in America to people of Japanese ancestry, the majority of whom were American
87     citizens;

88          WHEREAS, the completion of the Topaz Museum and Education Center allows
89     students, families, educators, historians, former internees, and their families to learn from the
90     artwork, artifacts, oral histories, diaries, and interpretive exhibits, and then travel 16 miles to
91     where the history occurred;
92          WHEREAS, museum docents greet visitors and answer questions beyond the scope of
93     the exhibits allowing visitors to question and contemplate poignant and significant aspects of
94     civil rights and race relations;
95          WHEREAS, in 2007, Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. spoke at the dedication of the Topaz
96     site as a National Historic Landmark;
97          WHEREAS, in 2009, the Utah State Legislature passed a resolution supporting the
98     construction of the Topaz Museum and Education Center;
99          WHEREAS, on January 18, 2013, Governor Gary Herbert proclaimed January 30,
100     2013, "Fred Korematsu Day" in Utah, honoring Mr. Korematsu on what would have been his
101     94th birthday for his lifelong efforts to assure civil liberties for all Americans, following his
102     imprisonment at Topaz and landmark Supreme Court case;
103          WHEREAS, Topaz art has been shown in five major galleries in California and Utah,
104     and in 2018 the Utah Museum of Fine Arts will host a retrospective show of the art of Chiura
105     Obata, who started the art school at Topaz;
106          WHEREAS, over 250 teachers have learned about Topaz in the Summer Field School
107     hosted by the Topaz Museum Foundation and the Utah State Office of Education and countless
108     students have visited the Topaz Museum;
109          WHEREAS, the Topaz Museum website and social media accounts confirm that 5,000
110     people per month are reading about Topaz and downloading information about visiting the site;
111     and
112          WHEREAS, the grand opening of the Topaz Museum and Education Center took place
113     on July 7 and 8, 2017, and featured speeches by Senator Orrin Hatch, Representative Rob
114     Bishop, Jill Remington Love, executive director, Utah Department of Heritage and Arts, and
115     Don Tamaki, whose parents were in Topaz, a koto performance by Shirley Muramoto, a flag
116     presentation by the Latinos in Action, a presentation by Kimi Kodani Hill, a book signing by
117     Willie Ito, who was in Topaz, taiko drumming by the Ogden Buddhist Taiko Group, the puppet
118     show "E.O. 9066" by the San Francisco troupe, Lunatique Fantastique, a ribbon cutting, and

119     tours of the museum and site :
120          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
121     Governor concurring therein, recognizes the achievements of Jane Beckwith and the Topaz
122     Museum Board in bringing the vision of the Topaz Museum and Education Center to reality
123     and providing a place where residents of and visitors to the state can learn valuable lessons
124     regarding civil rights and the nation's commitment to equal justice under the law by
125     championing the resilience of the internees who remained steadfast when their government
126     wavered.
127          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor laud the efforts of
128     all those who contributed to this effort and encourage the residents of and visitors to the state to
129     take advantage of the important educational opportunities available at the Topaz Museum, 55
130     West Main, Delta, Utah.