Fighting for Democracy: Who is the “We” in “We, the People”?

Image: Domingo Los Baños, 1945

Feb. 2 – Aug. 12, 2012
Lower Level Gallery 

This exhibition highlights the stories of seven diverse individuals, their service to their country and their civic engagement that helped to change our American democracy for the betterment of all.

Using World War II as a case study to begin discussion about how women and minorities have expanded the meaning of “we” in “we the people,” it looks at the experiences of seven real people and traces their stories throughout the pre-war, war, and post-war periods, as examples of the millions of Americans whose lives were affected by the war.

These stories help viewers to understand the conditions facing Americans before and during World War II while challenging them to think critically about freedom, history, and ultimately, the ongoing struggle to live democratically in a diverse America.

Top row, left to right: Frances Slanger, ca. 1942; Héctor García ca. 1944-45; George Saito (middle, with brothers), 1944; Bill Terry, December 1944.
Bottom row, left to right: Hazel Ying Lee, 1943; Domingo Los Baños, 1945; Carl Gorman, 1944. 


Fighting for Democracy is presented as a companion to the AANM exhibition Patriots & Peacemakers: Arab Americans in Service to Our Country.

Developed by the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, an educational program of the Japanese American National Museum, funded through a Congressional appropriation and in partnership with the U.S. Army Center of Military History, the Fighting for Democracy experiential exhibition premiered in Los Angeles in 2005, and is in the midst of a national tour.

  • February 2, 2012 - August 12, 2012