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George Takei Visit Marks 5 Years of Internment Museum in McGehee

Takei: 'This museum is teaching a lesson that all Americans need to know about'

MCGEHEE, Ark. - Standing in the shadow of the McGehee water tower and beneath an American flag, actor George Takei returns to celebrate five years of the World War II Japanese American Internment Museum.

"It's been an amazing journey for me of what I have learned and am still learning," museum curator Susan Gallion says.

Takei spoke to dozens outside the museum on Monday about his first trip to Arkansas as a 5-year-old child ordered to an internment camp in Rohwer during World War II.

"It was degrading," Takei said from the podium.

"It was humiliating."

People from all over the state and the country attended Monday's event.

George Takei's words were very powerful," Judy Matsuoka says.

George Takei's words were very powerful."

Takei's words are illustrated inside the museum. Photos, letters and maps line the walls linking Arkansas to a grim time in American history.

"They remind us that we have to stay vigilant so that things like this don't happen again," Matsuoka says.

Even though it's in a place off the beaten path, many see this historic hall navigating the present toward a better future.

"This museum here, here in the town of McGehee, Arkansas is teaching a lesson that all Americans should know about," Takei says.

Takei says he's visited Arkansas about a dozen times for things like Star Trek conventions and the opening of the Clinton library in Little Rock.


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