Iva Toguri D’Aquino was born in Los Angeles, California back in 1916 to Jun and Fumi. She graduated from high school in Los Angeles, continuing her education she graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in zoology in 1940.
In July of 1941, she sailed to Japan to visit an ailing relative. In August, she applied to the U.S. Vice Consul in Japan for a passport wanting to return to the U.S. While her request was under consideration the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, thus her passport was denied. To support herself she found work as a typist at a Japanese news agency and later for Radio Tokyo. She performed in comedy sketches and introduced recorded music in Japan.
After the war, she was arrested but after a years’ worth of investigation she was released and returned to the U.S. She was later re-arrested in 1948, but in a trial, she was found guilty of only one charge, where she served six years before being released. President Gerald Ford granted her a full and unconditional pardon. In 2006, the World War II Veterans Committee awarded her the Edward J. Herlihy Citizenship Award. She died later that same year in Chicago, she was 90.
While you may not recognize Iva surely, you’ve heard of what she was known as “Tokyo Rose”.
Your day is worthwhile when you make someone smile, so give the free gift of a smile today.