ST. CLOUD -- A traveling Smithsonian exhibit will soon be open at the Stearns History Museum. Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II opens on Tuesday.

The exhibit covers the experiences of Japanese Americans living on the west coast during World War II and directly following Executive Order 9066.

Collections Curator Eric Cheever says the themes in the exhibit are ones that are still relevant in 2019.

What does it mean to be an American? I think some of those themes resonate today and have resonated for the last couple hundred years. We've been hearing a lot about this on the news with comparisons, so maybe now is a good time to explore what the past has to teach us and maybe learn something from it.

Cheever also says the story has an interesting Minnesota connection.

Another thing that we're trying to cover is the fact that Minnesota housed the U.S. Army Japanese Language School in World War II. They were teaching Japanese language, interrogation skills, code-breaking and all that kind of thing here, and a number of the Japanese Americans from the west coast, from the internment camps, came here, loved Minnesota, and stayed.

The exhibit is a primer for an upcoming exhibit on the Japanese Language School this fall and another coming next summer on the 75th anniversary of the war.

On October 19th the exhibit will feature two women who lived in the camps and now reside in the Twin Cities as guest speakers.

Righting a Wrong will be in St. Cloud until January 5th. Admission to the museum is $7 for adults, $3 for kids ages 5-17, and free for members and kids 4 and younger.


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