Monday, October 06, 2008


This Day in the History of Americans Being Convicted of Treason

On this day in 1949, Japanese-American, Iva Toguri D'Aquino (one of several women we called Tokyo Rose), was sentenced to 10-years in prison and fined $10,000 for treason. This one needs a little explanation. Iva Toguri was nisei, born in Los Angeles, graduated from UCLA with a BS in zoology, and was a Republican. She sailed to Japan in July, 1941, to help an ailing relative and look at Medical Schools; and was stranded there by the attack on Pearl Harbor and declarations of war in December. She refused to renounce her citizenship and was denied a ration card as punishment. Finally, in 1943, assured that she would not have to broadcast anti-American propaganda, she began to be a DJ under the name Ann. She knew all the American slang and the music the Americans in uniform liked. Most people thought she helped morale rather than hurt it. Although she was paid next to nothing, she used some of her wages to buy food for starving GIs to whom she smuggled the food. Still, with almost no evidence of her helping the Japanese, she was convicted. Friends of mine at Stanford were involved in the mid '70s in getting her a pardon and were successful in 1977, obtaining one from President Ford. Iva died in 2006.


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